Healthcare Concerns of Older Adults during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Lessons for Health Policy and Social Work

Francis ARTHUR-HOLMES*, Michael Kwesi Asare AKAADOM, Williams AGYEMANG-DUAH, Kwaku ABREFA BUSIA, Prince PEPRAH

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

Older people have been identified to be one of the most vulnerable population groups to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the same time, more health workers in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) including Ghana are contracting COVID-19. This poses healthcare utilization concerns for older adults. As a result, many older adults are changing their health-seeking behavior by staying at home and resorting to informal healthcare such as the use of traditional therapies and over-the-counter medicines for self-treatment or to boost their immune system. This commentary calls for social workers to collaborate with health authorities and community pharmacists to develop social and health programs to increase older adults’ access to healthcare during the COVID-19 crisis. Policies are also required to deal with the pandemic and its impact on health systems in LMICs for both short and long term. We have suggested in this commentary how governments, health institutions, and local authorities in LMICs can address the healthcare concerns of older adults during this and any future pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • health-seeking behavior
  • healthcare
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • older adults
  • social workers

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