Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program COVID

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Naushira Pandya

Colleges / Centers

Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine


U.S. DHHS - Health Resources and Services Administration

Start Date



Older adults are at higher risk for COVID-19 along with other chronic conditions. So far, 8 out of 10 deaths are reported in older adults 65 and above1. In Florida, 83 % of total deaths related to COVID-19 are of older adults 65 and above2. Many of these deaths have been reported in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Of 1,227 people in Florida who tested positive for the virus until last few weeks, 38% were 60 or older, and more than half were 50 or older 3. Social distancing measures in community dwelling older adults although decreased the risk of spread of COVID-19, but triggered several other social emotional barriers among families, and providers caring for their loved ones in homes, facilities, and day care centers. Older adults are less likely to have access to many of the virtual connections younger people are using to connect with their loved ones 3. Given the vulnerabilities of older adults living alone with limited access, social distancing, and increased fear, it is imperative to reach out to patients, caregivers, and families to provide appropriate education. In addition, medical telehealth visits and telephone calls can help providers reach out to patients with reduced exposure to the virus but still being connected with health care services. This project seeks funding for telehealth education and telehealth services to improve access to older adults living in the communities with limited resources in the Tri-County region of Florida.

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