Monthly Scoop: December 2020

The Monthly Scoop:

December Boston Bridge Conversations is an opportunity for members to network, share ideas, and learn from each other. Our discussion this year concerned how a post-COVID-19 world will/will not change the aging field and our own professional lives. Perhaps the infrastructure of nursing homes and equity for their staff will change; perhaps the village movement or home healthcare will be more enticing for older adults; perhaps our workplaces will always remain partly virtual and we will find new ways to share socialization with our colleagues. But we all agreed that we hoped our lives would be more meaningful and empathic; that we would be able to feel one another’s pain and be of service; that we would respect our frontline workers who keep our society and our lives healthier and happier; and that ageism might lessen with a better understanding of what isolation feels like.

Announcements:

  • Since Inauguration Day is on the third Wednesday in January, the next Boston Bridge meeting will be JANUARY 13TH instead of the 20th.
  • Our January meeting will be a panel discussion with organizations like ours. Leaders from Emerging Aging in New York City and Emerging Leaders in Aging in Denver, Colorado will be discussing the past, present, and future of our different groups, what we can learn from each other, and the needs of older adults in different locales.

Articles

  • The Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University has researched nursing homes and COVID-19. They found that Green House Homes had far fewer cases of COVID 19 than traditional facilities. To find out why, read here and then watch the video below about a greenhouse home in Colorado.
  • While telehealth is becoming the preferred method for medical appointments during the pandemic, and probably beyond as well, it has been determined that it is not working well for many older adults. The reasons are many and are outlined, with solutions, by the Harvard Business Review. Read how primary care is using telehealth effectively.
  • Ageism is often the subject of research in the U.S., but ageism knows no boundaries. Research conducted by Ultrecht University in the Netherlands, as part of a European Sustainable Workforce Project, proved ageism is widespread and that being good at your job is no cure for ageism.
  • New research into Alzheimer’s Disease has shown that with increased exercise, those with mild symptoms can protect against the onset of dementia. Read the entire article, or the abstract, in BioMedCentral’s linking exercise and Alzheimers.
  • COVID-19 has created a lack of trust in nursing homes. How that will affect how we age, and where we age, is a significant concern. NPR reports based on a Wall Street Journal article: how will socialization, financial security and telemedicine change post-pandemic?
  • Lifelong learning is available at many colleges and helps to further education post-retirement. But some colleges are beginning to develop “long life learning” rather than “lifelong learning”.  Read about this “60-year curriculum of the future” and the different perspective it encourages.
  • Two MIT students have started a company called Rendever Health where virtual reality becomes a means to end isolation and encourage shared experiences. The Boston Globe reports that older adult housing facilities are adopting virtual reality and residents appear eager to accept it.
  • There is general agreement that caregiving can be stressful, physically challenging, and time-consuming. Some find it thankless and some find it to be a gift. But research is finding that caregiving is especially challenging due to cultural and ethnic norms. Advocates for caregivers must recognize bias and cultural diversity if we want to help.

Mixed Media

  • How long has it been since you were able to hug someone you loved? In Colorado, this Greenhouse facility created “hugging tents”! Enjoy the hugging video!
  • And in this Ohio nursing facility, they used their own creative ideas to help residents have fun and do some deer hunting!
  • Forced to be home more than usual during this pandemic, we have all probably seen too many Netflix movies. But here is one more worth watching: an intergenerational movie of astounding beauty and an affirmation of the power of age. A Holocaust survivor (Sophia Loren, 86 years old) and an orphan from Senegal face their own traumas and find understanding in each other. Read this review and then enjoy watching “The Life Ahead” now streaming on Netflix.

Remember to mark your calendars for our next Boston Bridge meeting – Wednesday, January 13th

Happy Holidays to all. Be safe, and stay healthy.

Colleen Morrissey and Barbara Friedman, Boston Bridge Board Members