Friday, October 1, 2021
A couple of weeks ago, the Commonwealth Fund released a report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults: Findings from the 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults. Here are the survey highlights:
Compared to their counterparts in the other survey countries, older adults in the U.S. have suffered the most economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, with more losing a job or using up all or most of their savings.
Latino/Hispanic and Black older adults in the U.S. have been far more likely than white older adults to experience significant negative economic consequences.
COVID vaccination rates for older adults were highest in countries where vaccines were most widely available when the survey was fielded. In the United Kingdom, nearly all older adults (97%) had already been vaccinated. The U.S. had the largest percentage of older adults who were not planning to get vaccinated.
The conclusion includes several steps for going forward "to reduce this burden on older Americans and to ensure that their health care needs are met":
Reducing care barriers... affordable access to care is increasingly a priority for policymakers and care delivery systems. Timely access to primary care is particularly important for older adults with multiple chronic conditions, because effective treatment requires coordination and follow-up plans....
Role of telemedicine... countries clearly have an opportunity to improve care delivery to older adults through the expansion of virtual care services for those unable or resistant to receiving care in a clinician’s office....
Expanding vaccination ... "[f]or older adults who said they were not planning to get vaccinated, limited trust in government to ensure vaccine safety and concerns with side effects were the most cited reasons. To increase uptake in this population, messaging campaigns should address their apprehension by engaging a wide range of voices, from clinicians and scientists to community members and local, state, and federal government agencies, to get the word out....