Seniors

What Seniors Can Expect as Their New Normal in a Post-Vaccine World

Imagine this scenario, perhaps a year or two in the future: An effective COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available and the world is moving forward. Life, however, will likely never be the same — particularly for people over 60.

That is the conclusion of geriatric medical doctors, aging experts, futurists and industry specialists. Experts say that in the aftermath of the pandemic, everything will change, from the way older folks receive health care to how they travel and shop. Also overturned: their work life and relationships with one another.

“In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,” said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. “We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die or someone I love could die. When those

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What Seniors Should Know Before Going Ahead With Elective Procedures

For months, Patricia Merryweather-Arges, a health care expert, has fielded questions about the coronavirus pandemic from fellow Rotary Club members in the Midwest.

Recently people have wondered “Is it safe for me to go see my doctor? Should I keep that appointment with my dentist? What about that knee replacement I put on hold: Should I go ahead with that?”

These are pressing concerns as hospitals, outpatient clinics and physicians’ practices have started providing elective medical procedures — services that had been suspended for several months.

Late last month, KFF reported that 48% of adults had skipped or postponed medical care because of the pandemic. Physicians are deeply concerned about the consequences, especially for people with serious illnesses or chronic medical conditions.

To feel comfortable, patients need to take stock of the precautions providers are taking. This is especially true for older adults, who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Here

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Seniors In Low-Income Housing Live In Fear Of COVID Infection

Davetta Brooks, 75, who has heart failure, a fractured hip and macular degeneration, is afraid. Conditions in her low-income senior building on Chicago’s Near West Side — the Congressman George W. Collins Apartments — are “deplorable,” she said.

Residents are not wearing masks or gloves to guard against the coronavirus, she said: “They’re touching everything on the elevator, in the laundry room. And anybody and everybody’s relatives and friends are coming in and out with no scrutiny.”

No one is checking on residents to see if they need help, Brooks said. And no one seems to know whether residents have tested positive for COVID-19 or died, though ambulances have screeched up to the entrance several times.

“This building is not safe,” she said in mid-June. “With all the things happening in the U.S., this is what ‘seniors lives don’t matter’ looks like.”

Nationwide, more than 1.6 million older adults live

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For Seniors, COVID-19 Sets Off A Pandemic Of Despair

As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.

This “stay at home awhile longer” advice recognizes that older adults are more likely to become critically ill and die if infected with the virus. At highest risk are seniors with underlying medical conditions such as heart, lung or autoimmune diseases.

Yet after two months at home, many want to go out into the world again. It is discouraging for them to see people of other ages resume activities. They feel excluded. Still, they want to be safe.

“It’s been really lonely,” said Kathleen Koenen, 77, who moved to Atlanta in July after selling her house in South Carolina. She’s living in a 16th-floor apartment while waiting to move into a senior housing community, which has had cases of

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