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April 16, 2020

Meeting the Care Needs of Older Adults Isolated at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(6):819-820. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1661

The dramatic shift toward social distancing measures presents important challenges to the health and well-being of community-dwelling older adults, particularly those who are frail, very old, or have multiple chronic conditions. Such older adults are at high risk of dying from COVID-19.1 Yet they also have high rates of morbidity and mortality from other acute and chronic conditions—and may adapt poorly to aggressive physical distancing and the changing health system structures that accompany it. In this Viewpoint, we highlight the health challenges for community-dwelling older adults and offer targeted suggestions for actions clinicians can take to mitigate these threats.

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