Paul Irving was the first guest when Voices for Eldercare Advocacy was launched as a radio show in September 2019. Now, on the one year anniversary since the coronavirus made its way to the United States, Paul Irving returns to talk about what it has meant for older adults, our attitudes towards older adults, caring and treatment of older adults, and how we are going to move ahead to reimagine care and living environments for people as they age.
The coronavirus spotlighted long-standing difficulties in the nursing home industry as a whole and the quality of care it provides for its residents. But, it also highlighted the need for treating essential workers, especially those healthcare workers who provide care for nursing home residents, with the respect and dignity they deserve; this includes a fair living wage. Is the lack of dignity, respect and a living wage related to the fact that many of these workers find their roots in minority communities? This reality extends to vaccine availability and access where older adults are often isolated and without internet access.
The discussion turns to purposeful aging and longevity within the United States, taking into account cultural and societal differences, as well as aging around the globe. The Milken Institute works towards improving lives and believes that societies are stronger when its older citizens live healthy, productive and purposeful lives. Science has done its part in helping us live longer, but have societal attitudes business, academia, communities and governmental institutions kept up with advancements in medicine that are allowing us to live longer? What can people do to ensure productive, quality life in their advanced years when so much of our culture venerates youth and how can intergenerational communication and working relationships impact society’s attitudes towards our elder citizens? Paul Irving provides his insights and suggestions from his years of research and work with thought leaders around the country.