Don’t Be Ageist
The most important lesson: This is what happens when we treat older people as expendable. There’s definitely an element of ageism at work here, which really crept into how the country made decisions and promulgated policies. From the outset of the pandemic, we knew older adults and those with underlying health conditions were most at risk, and yet we chose to ignore the fact that we could mitigate some of that risk by providing enough testing, staffing and adequate personal protective equipment. And we just didn’t. Older Americans and their care providers weren’t properly prioritized until very recently, when vaccines became available. And what an amazing difference it has been.
Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, which represents nonprofit nursing homes