COVID and Ageing Society dialogues: Home and Community-Based Care
The World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Longevity, in collaboration with AARP and the National Academy of Medicine, has kicked-off a five-part dialogue series about COVID-19 and ageing societies. Five webinars during June and July will bring together experts from government, academia, civil society, foundations and the private sector to consider key issues faced by older adults, and highlight opportunities for action on ageing and health.
COVID-19 and Ageing Society: Part Two
As the likelihood of living into old age has increased, there are an increasing number of older adults choosing to remain independent at home and maintain closer connections within their communities. The pandemic has shown how important home and community-based care is, as one element of strong and comprehensive healthcare systems. It has also elevated the importance of home care workers and family caregivers. The second webinar focused on challenges and opportunities of Home and Community-Based Care for older adults. Moderated by Sze-Yunn Pang, GFC on Longevity Council Member and Yvonne Arivalagan, Ageing and Health Policy Researcher, GFC on Longevity Fellow. Paul R. Hogan, Chairman and Founder, Home Instead Senior Care, gave the keynote address, and panelists included:
- Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Professor of Public Health and Ageing, University of the West Indies
- Emi Kiyota, Founder and Director, Ibasho
- Katie Wood, Director, Operations Consulting, Arup
- Lewis Levy, Chief Medical Officer, Teladoc Health
- Julian Koo, Co-founder and CEO, Jaga-Me Medical Home Care
- Ben Maruthappu, Co-founder and CEO, Cera Care
Key takeaways from the Home and Community-Based Care webinar included:
- The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated homes as one of the safest places. It is not just about delivering care at home, it is about delivering the social support and enabling the social capital required for older adults to continue to thrive in their homes and communities.
- Family care remains a critical aspect of ageing in place. More than ever, there is greater appreciation for family caregivers, and we need to ensure they receive the appropriate support to be part of the solution as we provide care to ageing populations.
- The right care at the right time in the right place. With COVID-19, we have seen the rapid acceleration of virtual solutions, with this acceleration also comes the issue of the so-called digital divide. We need to be cognizant of challenges presented by virtual solutions, especially the implication on access to health and healthcare among people who need it the most.
- The built environment impacts health and wellbeing. It can promote and encourage healthy habits and lifestyles, and plays a critical role in shaping how and where people interact and decisions to age in place. How we plan, design and build cities and our buildings has implications for ageing in place. Older adults want to maintain their independence, have easy access to transportation, integrated age-related services, recreation and connection to nature.
- What home and community-based care looks like will differ across geographies. This will be shaped by local cultures, norms and assets. In countries with no formal systems of community care, for example in some parts of the Caribbean, they are working to develop practical trainings to educate family members to deliver care to their loved ones. There is, indeed, an opportunity here for local solutions to be shared globally.
Overall, what is important is that as older adults choose to age in place, in their own homes and communities, we must ensure that they have access and options to choose places which enable them to live longer, happier and more fulfilled lives.
Did you miss the summary of the first webinar? Read about it here.