|COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.|
The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.
Different definitions of “aging in place” have distinct policy implications
November 4, 2020 – SeniorsA new review of academic literature explores the nuance of “aging in place” and its many conceptualizations in research and policy. Seven different definitions of “aging in place” are identified and each has distinct policy implications. For example, if aging in place refers to “never moving”, then policies might focus on home modifications and accessibility adaptations to their current homes, as opposed to the construction of new housing types for seniors. If “aging in place” refers to “having choices” and emphasizes individual autonomy, then policies might do better to focus on promoting a range of housing options and care environments.
“Green House” nursing homes far less impacted by COVID-19 than traditional facilities
November 3, 2020 – SeniorsNursing homes and long-term care facilities have been the sites of notable COVID-19 outbreaks. However, “Green House” nursing homes—a nontraditional and less-institutionalized long-term care model—have reported far fewer COVID-19 cases and outbreaks. Green House facility residents are one-fifth as likely to contract COVID-19 as those living in standard nursinghomes. For example, a Green House residential facility in Northern Virginia called Goodwin House has not had a single case of the virus. Another facility in Florida, the Woodlands at John Knox Village, has only had one reported case. In addition to Green House facilities being structured more like homes than hospitals, employees also receive higher pay and more time for interacting with residents. Reported employee turnover is much lower at Green House facilities (just 8 percent) than the industry-wide 55 percent. However, these nontraditional facilities tend to be located in wealthier areas and few are Medicaid-reliant, meaning that these options are out of reach for many low-income seniors and seniors of color. #covid-19 #racialequity
Declines in nursing assistants across New Hampshire exacerbate nursing home staff shortages
October 26, 2020 – SeniorsThe Concord Monitor reports on new data from the New Hampshire Board of Nursing that shows 2,381 licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) let their licenses lapse in New Hampshire between June 2019 and May 2020. During this same period the state only issued 1,672 new licenses, meaning there was a net loss of 709 LNAs. Staff shortages have been a challenge for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in New Hampshire historically and this recent loss exacerbates the problem. As LNAs are usually only paid around $15.50 per hour, the New Hampshire Long Term Care Stabilization program that provided weekly stipends to frontline health care workers were important incentives to keep LNAs as COVID-19 hit facilities. The program expired in July, but the governor announced new earmarks in mid-November, available through the end of the year, to incentivize these workers to continue their pandemic-era efforts. #covid-19
CDC finds dementia-related deaths up 20% during summer 2020
October 14, 2020 – SeniorsThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that dementia-related deaths were about 20 percent higher this past summer as compared to previous summers before the pandemic. Although researchers are still working to pinpoint the exact causes, four contributing factors that have been identified are increased social isolation, caregiver burnout, limited access to medical care, and needing to stay at home. Experts emphasize the importance of phone call check-ins for people with dementia. #covid-19 #mentalhealth
New ‘dark store’ retail model could support food access and businesses
New health research finds formal and informal home care for seniors with disabilities has increased
August 20, 2020 – SeniorsA recent academic article published in Health Affairs examined the types of home care that community-dwelling seniors with disabilities received over a multi-year period (2004-2016). Using data from a longitudinal nationally representative survey of adults ages 65 or older, authors estimated rates of informal, formal, and combinations of in-home care use. The vast majority of seniors with disabilities reported receiving some home care, and this share increased from 2004 to 2016. In 2004, only 16.9 percent of seniors with disabilities reported receiving no home care, down to 12.9 percent in 2016. A larger share of seniors with disabilities reported receiving only informal home care (48.3 percent in 2004 and 50.8 percent in 2016) compared to only formal home care (7.9 percent in 2004 and 9.2 percent in 2016).
The availability of home-based care for Medicare beneficiaries should be expanded
August 20, 2020 – SeniorsResearch published in Health Affairs explores the receipt of home-based medical care among community-dwelling, fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older. The authors analyzed survey data from the 2011-2017 National Health and Aging Trends Study, finding that only 11 percent of homebound fee for-service Medicare beneficiaries received home-based medical care. Homebased medical care receipt was more common among those living in metropolitan areas or in assisted living facilities. Given the health and cost benefits of aging in place, along with current unmet needs, authors argue that the availability of home-based care for Medicare beneficiaries should be expanded.
Federal agencies point state and community workers toward resources for supporting rural community-dwelling seniors and people with disabilities
During COVID-19 food insecurity among older adults increases by almost 60 percent
July 31, 2020 – SeniorsThe Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reports on an analysis from Northwestern University that compares food insecurity rates among older adults during the pandemic to rates in 2018. In 2018, 8.5 percent of older adults experienced food insecurity. Analysis of data from April 23 to June 16 shows the food insecurity rate among older adults was 13.5 percent, a 58.8 percent increase from the 2018 rate. Pre-existing racial and ethnic disparities in food insecurity rates were also exacerbated during the pandemic. The food insecurity rate for Black older adults during the pandemic was 23.0 percent and the rate was 24.3 percent for Latinx older adults of any race. The food insecurity rate for white older adults during the pandemic was less than half that, at 10.6 percent. Authors recommend boosting SNAP maximum and minimum benefits to leverage this existing program effective in supporting food security and stimulating the economy. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity
Addressing social isolation in seniors through transportation
July 20, 2020 – SeniorsA new paper commissioned by the National Center for Mobility Management explores the role of public transportation for reducing social isolation and loneliness among older adults. The paper summarizes existing literature and notes a lack of transportation is associated with loneliness, and that rural residents are more likely than urban residents to continue driving when older, likely reflecting the dearth of available alternatives. Public transportation can be a useful alternative, but its limited availability, inflexibility in routes and schedules, and challenges for those with mobility issues mean it is not uniformly utilized. The report also shows that demographic and geographic factors stratify use of public transportation: non-Hispanic white older adults are more likely to drive than are older adults of color, and higher-income older adults are more likely to drive than their lower-income counterparts. The report concludes by recommending more research specific to transportation and social needs and identifies the importance of community input and collaborations between public health and transportation sectors at the community level. #rural #mentalhealth
Lack of economic gender equality continues to affect women in retirement
July 20, 2020 – SeniorsMany studies on economic gender equality focus on the working-age population, but fewer consider the economic status of women in retirement. Brookings experts explore the resources available to women in retirement, given that on average women both live longer and earn less in their lifetime than men. On top of receiving unequal pay for similar work, women are also more likely to see reduced earnings due to time out of the formal labor force while caring for children and/or for aging parents. Lower earnings over a lifetime have implications for retirement savings, but also for calculating Social Security benefits (on average, women receive just 80 percent of the Social Security benefits that men do). Citing that the current retirement system was “not designed to accommodate women’s experiences,” authors suggest policies and practices to address these inequalities including: an improved federal paid family and medical leave program, subsidizing childcare, creating a Social Security caregiver credit as part of benefit calculations, divorce law reform, a nationwide and automatic IRA program so that all workers can access a retirement program through their employer, and bolstering Supplemental Security Income benefits. #workforce #childcare
Research on seniors’ finances before and after Great Recession yields grim predictions for current recession
July 20, 2020 – SeniorsNew research from the National Council on Aging assessed the potential effects of the COVID-19 recession on seniors by utilizing data on the economic situation of U.S. adults ages 60+ both before and after the Great Recession. The research found that low-income older adults experienced more financial losses than higher-income counterparts, as did older adults of color compared with non-Hispanic white older adults. Poverty rates for adults over 60 increased from 5% before the recession to 7.3% after the recession. Post-recession poverty levels were even higher for Black older adults (16.4%) and Hispanic older adults (20.1%). Researchers estimate that a COVID-19 recession, if results are similar to that of 2008-09, could push 1.8 million seniors into poverty—and seniors of color are the most vulnerable to financial losses. #covid-19