As many older adults get back to normal life across the United States thanks to high rates of vaccination and lower COVID-19 activity, a new poll suggests many should watch their alcohol intake. Continue reading
According to new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, nearly one in five older adults say their mental health has gotten worse since the pandemic began in March 2020, and an equal percentage say their sleep has suffered in that time too. More than one in four say they’re more anxious or worried than before the COVID-19 era, according to a new poll of people age 50 to 80. Continue reading
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Secretary Marylou Sudders will hold a stakeholder call on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9:45-10:30 AM to discuss Massachusetts’ Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform: Ensuring the right treatment when and where people need it. Continue reading
A new report from The Fenway Institute finds that older LGBTQ adults in the Commonwealth report being diagnosed with depression at twice the rate of their straight, cisgender peers, and are twice as likely to fall and be injured in a fall over the past year.
It also finds that while older LGBTQ adults are more likely to hold a college degree, they are more likely to report having had difficulty paying for housing or food over the past year. LGBTQ older adults living in rural areas of the state expressed concern about the lack of options for LGBTQ-affirming health care, as well as their on-going experiences with strong anti-LGBTQ prejudice and harassment in public settings and senior housing. Continue reading
Councils on Aging (COAs) are considered the “front door” of services and supports for older residents and those who care for them. They provide a wide range of programs and services, designed to meet the varied needs and interests of a diverse older population.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, councils on aging have had to adapt significantly to continue the important work they do on behalf of older adults in the community. Continue reading
A recent report by researchers from the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at UMass Boston’s Gerontology Institute examines these consequences for the older population in Massachusetts.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront common obstacles experienced by older people, and also exacerbated challenges related to income, housing, nutrition, medical care, and emotional wellbeing. The work of community organizations meant to meet the needs of older adults is more critical than ever during this public health crisis.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative also believes this points to the importance of creating and advancing age-and dementia friendly communities as well. Continue reading
In addition to an evolving COVID-19 resource page, MHAC is continuing to collect and share updates on COVID-19 from state government, federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, and other key stakeholders.
These updates are to help and inform a wide range of individuals and partners, including communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly.
Please see the latest updates below: Continue reading
In partnership with US Health and Human Services and the National Council on Aging, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a resource inventory intended to provide information for those interested in enhancing their outreach and support for older Veterans and other older adults who have or are at risk for behavioral health conditions. Continue reading
Communities and partners in the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative network may be interested in the following virtual opportunities:
- Supporting Family Caregivers in the Workplace – Mass Business Roundtable
During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, the demand on family caregivers has never been greater. There are more than 840,000 family caregivers across the Commonwealth providing care to loved ones while balancing their work and other family responsibilities. The Roundtable helped launch the Massachusetts Caregivers Coalition bringing together business, education and public sector leaders to better understand and address the needs of family caregivers, a growing and essential part of workforces across every industry sector.
In this webinar, first in a planned series, a panel will address the realities of caregiving during COVID-19 and provide resources and strategies shared by experts. Confirmed speakers and moderators include Roundtable member Mark Butler, Cigna New England, Robin Lipson, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Alexandra Drane, ARCHANGELS, as well as leaders from Roundtable members Seniorlink and Care.com.
- National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day – COMBATING SOCIAL ISOLATION FOR SENIORS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Join the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging (NCMHA) for a thoughtful discussion on ways to prevent social isolation and promote mental health during this unprecedented time in our history.
Suicide, depression, anxiety, and problems with alcohol and medications are issues that older adults face. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that by 2030, there will be nearly 75 million Americans over age 65. A 2012 study from the Institute of Medicine found that nearly 1 in 5 older Americans has one or more mental health/substance use conditions. According to 2018 data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and reported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, adults in the 75-84 and 85+ age groups are among those with the highest rates of suicide.
Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day 2020 will feature remarks from Lance Robertson, ACL Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging, and Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. It will also share the latest information on social isolation and loneliness from Dr. Dilip Jeste, University of California San Diego Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry.
More Information on COVID-19 Responses:
- ACL Resources for older adults, providers, communities, and states
- SAMHSA Resources to assist individuals, providers, communities, and states
Studies of older people have shown that good mental health and greater social
engagement are markers of resilience in aging and may be protective against
cognitive decline. Some studies suggest that treating psychiatric symptoms may
also be protective.
Dr. Nancy Donovan, Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, will discuss these findings and her own research that is part of the Harvard Aging Brain Study, a longitudinal study of 270 cognitively healthy older adults. The presentation and discussion will take place at Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline. Continue reading