Lisa Sokoloff is the Manager, Training & Simulation at Baycrest’s Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging. She is also a speech-language pathologist. Lisa has worked with older adults for most of her career and has published and presented internationally in the areas of speech pathology, swallowing disorders, education and simulation. Lisa has Lecturer status in the Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
Engaging older adults during the time of COVID-19 and beyond
Lisa Sokoloff, Baycrest, Canada
Cathy Smith, Baycrest, Canada
Christina Gallucci, Baycrest, Canada
During the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting with older adults to reduce social isolation was necessary for their mental health and wellbeing and to maintain skills. Older adults were subjected to much greater social isolation because of risk factors associated with their age.
Working with older adults requires special considerations of normal changes that can occur in their physical, sensory and cognitive abilities. Many of these changes can be even more apparent when using technology to accommodate for remote virtual connections. Being aware of possible changes and strategies to support older adults can enhance their engagement.
In this presentation we will describe how we implemented a weekly, virtual, one-hour meeting with a group of older adults who work as simulation participants. The meetings were modelled on a framework that incorporates effective practices in simulation and working with older adults. We will share findings from our qualitative exploratory study of older adults’ experiences within the virtual meetings. Learnings can be applied in any context with the proviso that facilitators are skilled, and a framework is in place featuring the basic tenets of effective practices for working collaboratively with older adults.
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:
- Describe a collaborative framework with accompanying strategies for working with older adults
- Discuss applications of the framework in their own context, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic