Feb. 23 Web Event: The Gift of Experience vs. the Stress of Isolation: Older People Share How They’ve Made It Through the Pandemic

Older adults have suffered more illness and death from covid-19 than any other group. How are they faring as the pandemic enters its third year?

KFF’s Kaiser Health News (KHN) and The John A. Hartford Foundation explored that question in depth in a 90-minute interactive web event on Feb. 23, 2022.

Judith Graham, KHN’s Navigating Aging columnist, moderated the discussion among a panel of nine older adults from diverse backgrounds, bringing to light their experiences in their own words. Too often, voices like theirs are not featured prominently in stories about the pandemic.

Rani Snyder, Vice President, Program at The John A. Hartford Foundation, made introductory remarks.

Questions included: How have people handled the persistent stress? How have their lives changed? What are their most significant challenges? What needs are not being met? What sources of strength and comfort help sustain them? What are their hopes for the year ahead?

The panel included African American, Latino, White, and LGBTQ+ older adults. Among them was a nursing home resident in Maryland, a couple living in a retirement community in Pennsylvania, a man with Alzheimer’s disease in Nevada, a divorced couple who live together and help each other in North Carolina, a single woman living alone in Minnesota, an activist who cares for his bedbound wife in Dallas, and a woman who lives in affordable housing in New York City.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation. KHN receives grant funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, among other sources, and retains full editorial control over its journalism.

The John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. The leader in the field of aging and health, the Foundation has three areas of emphasis: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.