Author Archives: Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

How can states keep nursing home residents safe during the pandemic? 

Photo: Deborah Crowe

When we first learned of widespread incidence and deaths from COVID-19 in a Seattle-area nursing home, many in the aging and health care fields already knew what was ahead. Since early March, Missouri, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and nearly every other state have reported cases, More than 5,500 nursing home residents had died from coronavirus-related conditions as of April 15.

The real number undoubtedly is higher, since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services only recently announced new regulatory requirements to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many deaths early in the pandemic likely were attributed to age-related complications from flu, pneumonia, or pre-existing heart and breathing problems. So how are states helping to protect their most vulnerable residents? Continue reading

COVID-19 is hitting older LGBTQ adults especially hard

Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

The coronavirus pandemic has put the LGBTQ community at increased risk for severe illness and death if they develop COVID-19. A lifetime of systemic discrimination and poorer health outcomes can make older LGBTQ people especially vulnerable, according to LGBT advocates. Continue reading

Home-care workers facing numerous challenges during pandemic

Photo: Deborah Crowe

Photo: Deborah Crowe

Is home health care the next COVID-19 hot spot? It may very well be, according to home care workers and leaders of a union that represents many of them. In a video press conference on April 15, several home care workers said that neither their agency nor the federal government was doing enough to keep them safe.

Social distancing while performing in-home care is impossible due to the intimate nature of their jobs, said the workers, who provide personal assistance and health care support. Continue reading

Friday’s webcast focuses on older adults and COVID-19

Photo: Senior Guidance via Flickr

The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has been particularly fatal to older adults. Outbreaks in long-term care facilities like the one in Kirkland, Wash., drive home the extreme vulnerability of our nation’s elders.

The CDC’s March 28 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) looked specifically at severe outcomes in older adults from COVID-19. The first preliminary reports from China found fatality rate was highest among patients over 60, particularly among those with underlying conditions; the rate was as high as 27% for those 85 and older. Continue reading

Older Americans Act Reauthorization signed into law

Photo: Kate Gardiner via Flickr

With practically everyone working overtime to cover COVID-19, you may have missed an important milestone last week. President Trump signed the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization into law on March 25 after the U.S. Senate earlier in the month unanimously passed the bipartisan legislation co-authored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Aging Committee. (It passed in the House on March 11.) Continue reading