The panel discussion on elder care during COVID-19 featured Kathryn Downes and Robin Lipson from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (top and bottom left,) Tara Hammes from the Massachusetts Councils on Aging (top right,) and Brenda Labbe from the Greater Springfield Senior Services (bottom right.)

The MMA Human Services Council hosted its inaugural webinar yesterday in partnership with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

The panel discussion on elder care during COVID-19 featured Kathryn Downes and Robin Lipson from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Tara Hammes from the Massachusetts Councils on Aging, and Brenda Labbe from the Greater Springfield Senior Services.

Panelists covered how home- and community-based aging services have adapted during COVID-19, and how local human services providers can support older adults and caregivers in their communities.

Issues addressed included responding to the needs of older adults and families during the pandemic, helping older adults and isolated family caregivers feel less alone and more connected to their communities, and sharing hopes for the future.

Panelists responded to participant questions on what reopening of senior centers might look like, and barriers and solutions to technology access for older adults.

More than 165 human services professionals participated in the hour-long webinar.

Resources:
• Find your local aging services agency: www.massoptions.org/massoptions
• MCOA resources, including Wellness Checklist: mcoaonline.com/coronavirus/resources
• Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program: www.mass.gov/family-caregiver-support-program
• MCOA virtual trainings, including caregiver resources, exercise programs and educational resources: mcoaonline.com/virtual-programs
• MCOA innovative ideas: mcoaonline.com/coronavirus/great-ideas
• Mental health and well-being resources: www.mass.gov/resource/maintaining-emotional-health-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak
• Managing isolation and loneliness: www.mass.gov/info-details/managing-isolation-and-loneliness-during-covid-19
• MCOA Recommendations for Reopening – Scaling Up Senior Center Operations: mcoaonline.com/recommendations-for-reopening