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CSDE Affiliates Berridge, Allard, Freitag, and Co-Authors Publish Report on COVID-19 and Older Adults

Posted: 10/26/2020 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliates Clara Berridge and Scott Allard, along with CSDE Trainee Callie Freitag and collaborators from UW Medicine, Public Health and Social Welfare recently co-authored a report titled “Caring for Washington’s Older Adults in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Interviews with Organization Leaders About  The State of Social and Healthcare Services”. The qualitative study, funded by a UW Population Health Initiative grant, is the result of interviews with leaders of nearly four dozen organizations around the state during July and August — just as COVID-19 cases spiked, many lockdown restrictions remained in place, and the social and physical effects of the first few months of quarantines became apparent. The authors find that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased social isolation among older adults, primarily due to their higher susceptibility to the disease and the restrictions that encourage them to stay put, with few, if any visitors. Many communities — low-income older adults; Black, Indigenous and people of color; those with limited English proficiency; and those experiencing homelessness — are at risk of being overlooked and underserved. Also, the “digital divide,” or lack of Internet access or devices such as phones and laptops, has widened among older adults. To read UW News coverage, click here.