Jack is the President of Gray Panthers NYC, an organization with a storied history of ensuring the rights and programs for all who are aging, especially older persons themselves. In addition to overseeing daily operations, he leads and/or participates in numerous important initiatives, such as ensuring that the concerns of older persons are included in numerous global frameworks at the United Nations (Sustainable Development Goals; Human Rights of Older Persons; Innovative approaches for older persons in the least developed countries); working toward better enforcement of violations against nursing homes; addressing explicit and institutional manifestations of ageism; reminding emergency planning efforts (at the local and global level) to include older persons; working toward intergenerational solidarity, and much more.
Jack received his college degree from Colgate University and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. A New Yorker by birth and choice, his childhood was spent at the family owned and run rest home for the elderly in Rockland County, NY. This is where the seeds of his passion were sown.
Honoring nursing home lives lost
Jack Kupferman, Gray Panthers NYC, United States
Monica Do Cuotto Monni, Gray Panthers NYC, United States
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected how we live our lives and provide care to older adults. In this unprecedented moment during which the world is searching for ways of overcoming the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults have been disproportionately affected by the direct consequences of the pandemic and associated social distancing regulations. Within the elderly population, older adults with sensory impairments such as vision and hearing impairments are facing additional structural barriers in accessing care and rehabilitation services.
The population worldwide is ageing rapidly, and Canada is no exception. By 2036, one in four adults in Canada will be above 65 years of age. Analysis of the Canadian Longitudinal Studies on Ageing 2016 data indicates that up to 1.1 million Canadians experience some forms of concurrent hearing and vision challenges (referred to as dual sensory loss/DSL). DSL is a condition that is more complex and disabling than hearing or vision loss alone. Given this distinct impairment, challenges in communication, accessing information, and mobility hinder many aspects of access to healthcare. The Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille du CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre (INLB) is a part of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Metropolitan Montreal (CRIR), which is the largest rehabilitation research centers in Canada. The INLB’s programme de surdicetité (Deafblindness Program), a shared rehabilitation program designed to integrate the needs of clients with DSL, is co-coordinated with the Institut Raymond-Dewar du CIUSSSS Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, another CRIR rehabilitation center specialized in hearing impairment. The mission of INLB is to spearhead the development of rehabilitation interventions that promote the functioning and social participation of their clients with DSL across all levels of impairment and all ages. While assisting clients with DSL, it has often become evident that there is an utmost need for more research and development of emerging technologies that could benefit their clients with DSL in improving their functioning and quality of life.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the INLB adapted their strategies and interventions to meet the needs of their DSL clientele in addition to meeting the provincial government’s policy responses. The aim of the workshop is to make professionals in the ageing field aware of the challenges faced by the INLB organization and then present micro- and macro-level strategic solutions that they used to adapt to the changing situation. We will present the telehealth related challenges faced by older adults with DSL and pinpoint to the adaptations that were made. The workshop would emphasize the best strategies that worked despite the evolving public health policy regulations. The workshop would be interactive by using case examples from the INLB older clientele with DSL and how they were served during the pandemic. Moreover, using the findings from a COVID-19 research study that INLB is supporting, information will also be presented on barriers to health information and tele health for older adults with DSL in Canada.