Viewing Age-Friendly Care Through an “Equity Lens”

Age-Friendly Action Community

Age-Friendly Health System Action CommunityFactors such as race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status and geographic location significantly influence health outcomes. These must be considered when providing care to vulnerable populations, such as those ages 65 and older.

Older adults are also at high risk for getting sick and dying from COVID-19, and minority groups are among the highest risk. An analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that African Americans ages 65 to 74 died of COVID-19 five times as often as whites. The implications of the pandemic reach beyond contracting the disease — increased rates of social isolation and loneliness remain a concern.

The MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community will work with members to view older adult care through an “equity lens,” ensuring that all processes, programs and practices support equitable care for all patients. The Action Community will focus on providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing that social determinants of health impact the aging population significantly, especially in their ability to follow up on their care.

Participants will implement an evidence-based framework within their existing practices in addition to learning from subject matter experts and peers to improve care for older adults and reduce costs. Additionally, the Action Community is flexible and will adapt to meet the needs of its participants who are battling the constantly evolving pandemic.

Healthcare teams interested in participating in this Action Community can enroll online at no cost. In addition, the MHA Keystone Center will host a Twitter chat from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 18 to discuss the need for age-friendly healthcare (see related article) Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center.