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Showing posts from July, 2020

Ageism in the Time of COVID: Podcast with Louise Aronson

In this week's GeriPal podcast we talk with Louise Aronson, author of the Pulitzer prize finalist Elderhood (listen/read our podcast with Louise on her book here).

Louise has been one of the (sadly) few voices beating a loud and urgent drum in the medical and lay press about the insidious ageism taking place in the time of COVID.  In a prior podcast we discussed the ways in which structural racism contributed to vast disparities in COVID, and similarly in this podcast we talk about the ways in which COVID exposes existing ageist assumptions, attitudes, and systematic forms of discrimination.  
To give a sense about how prolific Louise Aronson has been writing about ageism, here are links to just a sampling of her articles in the NEJM, New York Times 1 and 2, VOX, Forbes, and the Atlantic.  She also mentions this terrific piece by Nathan Stall and Samir Sinha during the podcast.
And wow - love the song choice - It's the End of the World As We Know It by REM.  Sure seems like i…

Advance Care Planning should be revisited proactively during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jennifer L. Giddings, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC 
Erik K. Fromme, MD, MCR, FAAHPM 


   I had just started my first job in long term care at a 150-bed skilled nursing facility in a densely populated city on the East Coast. During my third month on the job, COVID-19 cases skyrocket from 120,000 to over 1 million. My organization reacted immediately, restricting visitors, minimizing patient interaction, and implementing every possible protocol to prevent the virus from entering and overtaking the facility. Despite all these efforts, COVID-19 took over our building, infecting many patients, staff, and providers. Knowing that we’re working with the highest risk population for mortality with COVID-19, I began calling family members to notify them of the outbreak but also to discuss advance care plans if their loved one becomes gravely ill. Faced with this impossible task as a new provider to the facility I was speaking to many of our patient’s family members for the first time. Met with an array of q…