For Older Adults & Caregivers
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like COVID-19. COVID-19 illness ranges from mild to severe, though for some it can be deadly. Symptoms usually start 2-14 days after infection. They may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Click here for information from the AGS Health in Aging Foundation.
For Health Professionals
Understanding COVID-19, Care Planning, & Communications Skills
Media coverage and heightened societal concern mean that many older adults and caregivers may feel anxious, overwhelmed, or afraid to address COVID-19--especially when it comes to care planning.
Remember: The coronavirus and its consequences make no distinction based on personal characteristics, including age. As we work to support older adults and caregivers in the clinic, we should also support communication that's respectful, responsive, and person-centered. For a quick-start guide of general terms and messaging to avoid, click here.
In addition, consider consulting these resources for best practices on conversations about COVID-19 and care plans.
COVID-19 Communications Skills (A VitalTalk Playbook of Tips)
Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness COVID-19 and Social Isolation Resources
How to Talk with Others about COVID-19
OPTIMISTIC COVID-19 Resources for Care Planning
Serious Illness Care Program COVID-19 Response Toolkit
Addressing Racial Inequality in Advance Care Planning