A Framework for Aging-Friendly Services and Supports in the Age of COVID-19

J Aging Soc Policy. 2020 Jul-Oct;32(4-5):450-459. doi: 10.1080/08959420.2020.1771239. Epub 2020 May 22.


COVID-19 has revealed gaps in services and supports for older adults, even as needs for health and social services have dramatically increased and may produce a cascade of disability after the pandemic subsides. In this essay, we discuss the perfect storm of individual and environmental risk factors, including deconditioning, reductions in formal and informal care support, and social isolation. We then evaluate opportunities that have arisen for strengthening person-centered services and supports for older adults, through in-home acute and primary medical care, aggressive use of video telehealth and social interaction, and implementation of volunteer or paid intergenerational service.

Keywords: Aging; healthy aging; informal caregiving; intergenerational programs; long-term care; policy; telehealth.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Environment
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / organization & administration*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Environment
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Support
  • Social Work / organization & administration*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration
  • United States / epidemiology