Resource Library

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.

 

Without policy intervention, Social Security benefits will fall due to current recession

June 23, 2020 – Seniors

Researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) argue that policymakers should include a fix in the next COVID-19 relief bill to address decreases in Social Security benefits caused by the current recession. The recent unemployment increase and decrease in annual earnings for many workers will result in a decrease in the economy-wide average wage. Due to the way Social Security benefits are calculated, someone turning 60 in 2020 will receive less in benefits than that same earner would have if they were turning 60 in 2019. This unfair outcome can be avoided by adding a protective Social Security provision. #covid-19

NACo report summarizes guidance, policies, and best practices in long-term care facilities

June 20, 2020 – Seniors

The National Association of Counties (NACo) published a brief intended to be a comprehensive resource for counties who own and/or operate long-term care facilities. The brief summarizes federal guidance and policies, new federal legislation, data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, and gives local examples of best practices. For example, Linn County, Oregon is highlighted for its successful efforts to expand testing. #covid-19

Identifying factors linked with successful nursing home responses to COVID-19

June 10, 2020 – Seniors

Public administration researchers at American University examined nursing home facilities across the country to identify elements that determine adequate coronavirus response and protections for residents. The scholars identified three factors associated with successful outbreak management, including the investments and patient-care emphases in nonprofit or public homes versus forprofit facilities; more federal and state regulation; and better facility management and administration. #covid-19

States need to hold nursing homes accountable rather than shield them from lawsuits

June 9, 2020 – Seniors

States are increasingly taking action to protect nursing homes and health care providers against lawsuits. But law professors at the University of Arizona and Indiana University assert that nursing homes need more scrutiny, not less, given historically high numbers of health violations. A 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office found that 82% of nursing homes were cited for infection control problems. Even knowing this, many facilities did not implement basic guidelines in response to the pandemic. As of June 5, at least 21 states had recently acted by emergency orders or legislation to shield health care providers from lawsuits related to negligence during the pandemic. Nine of these states—including Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York— explicitly protect nursing homes from lawsuits. However, neither New Hampshire nor Maine have taken actions to prohibit nursing home lawsuits. #covid-19

State proposes ongoing COVID tests at nursing homes

June 1, 2020 – Seniors

State health officials are trying to chart a path forward for ongoing testing in long-term care facilities, which account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire.

Long-term care residents DJ for new online radio station

June 1, 2020 – Seniors

The Washington Post reports on Radio Recliner, a new online radio station whose DJs are elderly residents of long-term care facilities. Professional producers help seniors record talk portions via phone and insert seniors’ selected songs amid the recorded talk, then merge the DJs’ sets together for continuous online streaming. Seniors share stories and select their favorite music, and relatives can call in with requests and dedicate songs to their isolated older loved ones. The radio station was created by a marketing company in partnership with a retirement home chain, and now includes sets from senior DJs across the country. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Allowing partial Social Security benefits would support older adults during recession

May 29, 2020 – Seniors

Researchers at the Urban Institute find that older adult workers have the hardest time finding a new job in tough labor markets. Given early impacts of the COVID-19 recession, researchers suggest that allowing more flexibility for those aged 62 or older to opt in and out of Social Security, or to take only half of their Social Security benefit in a given year, would allow seniors to adjust reliance on Social Security based on their needs. Much of the infrastructure for implementing a reform like this is already in place, although not often utilized; simplifying and expanding on this existing option would facilitate the roll-out of such a program. #covid-19 #workforce

Keeping seniors connected socially is key to wellbeing

May 26, 2020 – Seniors

New Hampshire agencies are continuing to brainstorm creative ways to connect with seniors who are staying at home during the pandemic. While some agencies continue drive-through meal pick-ups, others are dropping off flowers and activities or planning group Zoom calls. Organized volunteer phone check-ins are also highlighted. Nonprofit service providers have particular concerns about preserving routines for seniors receiving memory care services, whose inperson supports are likely to be among the last to reopen. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Youth in Navajo Nation take action to protect elders

May 26, 2020 – Seniors

The health news site STAT reports that as of May 23, Navajo Nation had the highest COVID-19 infection rate of any state, territory, or tribe in the United States: 4,633 cases and 153 deaths in a population of 356,000. Since federal aid has been slow to reach tribes, young Navajos have stepped up to support families and protect elders. One such initiative, called Protect the Sacred, focuses on mobilizing tech-savvy young adults to communicate accurate health information to elders in their families and communities. In addition, the Northern Dine Covid-19 Relief Effort has harnessed young volunteers to solicit and deliver donations including food, water, and other crucial supplies for over 600 families on the reservation. #covid-19 #rural

Older veterans are especially vulnerable to COVID-19

May 22, 2020 – Seniors

Veterans are found to be especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and related economic impacts. Veterans tend to be older—in 2017 the median age of veterans was 64—and have often been exposed to toxins or chemicals during their service that contribute to higher rates of respiratory illnesses. As of May 22, there have been 1,100 deaths out of the 12,979 cases of COVID-19 in Veterans Administration care. VA Hospitals tend to be understaffed, resulting in reduced access to health care for veterans. This situation, along with many mental health facilities temporarily closing, has reduced access to mental health care for veterans. Veteran calls to suicide hotline had increased by 12% as of March 22, still early in the crisis. Other difficulties facing veterans include delayed disability benefits, job losses, homelessness, and complications for those in the justice system. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Home health care workers need additional support to meet growing challenges

May 18, 2020 – Seniors

The home care services sector has received less attention than nursing homes, although it too faces the challenges of necessary social distancing. This critical sector will need assistance to meet current needs and the projected increase in pandemic-related demand. To support home health care workers, experts at The Conversation recommend ensuring paid sick leave, access to personal protective equipment (PPE), increased use of telehealth, including virtual training, and fair compensation for complex care. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could expand the definitions of “home health” and “homebound” so that Medicare would cover more home care services. #covid-19 #workforce

More than 1 in 5 Americans is an unpaid caregiver for a friend or relative

May 15, 2020 – Seniors, Families

An associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports on her research on caregiving during the pandemic. An estimated 21.3 percent of Americans, or a total of 53 million people, are unpaid caregivers for relatives and friends. Many of the people they are caring for are elderly, immunocompromised, or have chronic conditions—making them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Precautionary measures like social distancing further complicate the challenges of caregiving and has limited access to paid at-home support. #covid-19