Monthly Scoop: November 2020

Thank you to our November speakers, John Froio and Courtney Libon from DeNovo Center for Justice and Healing. DeNovo offers free legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling to people with low incomes. During these difficult days of the COVID pandemic, they have been especially busy with housing evictions and trying to assist vulnerable populations as government subsidies expire. Without their help, too many people would become homeless. Thank you for sharing all of this important information with much empathy. (See our Call to Action below for how you can help.)


  • The Age Strong Commission of the City of Boston has reported that the Spanish-speaking memory cafes previously held in-person in Jamaica Plain are now virtual from 10am-12pm on the second Thursday of every month. The Black/African American memory cafes previously held in Roxbury are also virtual from 10am-12pm on the second Friday of every month. The next Memory Cafes are December 10th and 11th respectively.


  • “In an August 2020 survey of nursing home operators by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), 72% of respondents reported an inability to maintain operations through 2021; 40% said they won’t last another six months.” Another survey indicated most older adults would want to go to a facility if they needed nursing care. Read about this nursing home crisis.
  • While December holidays are meant to be festive and happy times, the difficulty of keeping it that way in the midst of a pandemic is stressful for many. Yet, this year the need to remain safe and healthy is outweighing the need to be physically together to share those traditional joys. Here is one article and another with tips for the holidays
  • Health care can be complicated when language barriers exist. Cultural sensitivity in the medical profession is crucial in caring for Hispanic, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. Caregivers need support for health literacy.
  • The elections are over, but the social discourse remains troubled.  Do you sense this lack of civil discussion, increased tribalization, and fragmentation in relationships with your colleagues, or among the older adults with whom you work? If so, then the American Psychological Association’s advice on civility is important to read. Here are thoughts on how to return to civil discourse in society.
  • During the Covid-19 crisis, scams targeted to older adults have increased. A bill passed in the US Congress will provide digital resources for scams in different locations and connections to law enforcement. Read this information on scam reduction.
  • While 80% of deaths due to COVID-19 are within the 65+ age group, those same older adults have been found to be psychologically healthier during the pandemic than other age groups. Learn why and how older adults are more resilient.
  • Is ageism more or less prevalent in our society today? In past issues of the Scoop, we have reported that it is, sadly, still alive and growing. But here is another viewpoint that was reported in Psychology Today. Now you can decide . . . should we say goodbye to ageism in 2020?
  • Understanding systemic racism in America needs to include an evaluation of how medical schools play a part. Past inaccuracies in teaching need correction, and learning how to identify racism in healthcare will create more enlightened physicians. Kaiser Health News reports on racism in healthcare here.

Mixed Media

  • This is so beautiful…….while her brain is suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, her body and soul remember perfectly the beauty of her passion. Watch this video of inspiration and joy.
  • The American Society on Aging (ASA) has addressed the issue of connectivity and aging through two videos worth watching. In both The Thrive Center, and the partnership between Embodied Labs and the Front Porch, there are good ideas on how to create empathy and avoid loneliness. Watch Session Three: Innovations in Connectivity.

Call to Action
DeNovo suggests that Boston Bridge members can help vulnerable populations during this pandemic by contacting their state legislators and urging support for housing stability. Here is information on the bill.

December at Boston Bridge means stimulating discussions and valuable networking. Please join us as we explore in small groups, and all together, topics that are relevant and important. We look forward to seeing you then.

Stay well,

Barbara Friedman and Colleen Morrissey, Boston Bridge Board Members