MICRA hosts first ever webinar on COVID-19 and older people

MICRA's first ever webinar was on 'The Impact of COVID-19 on Health and Social Inequalities in Older People'.

MICRA has historically hosted a successful seminar series, focusing on issues of ageing and attracting a varied audience of up to and over 100 attendees. However, as COVID-19 has rendered the traditional seminar format impossible, we’ve updated our operations, and hosted our first webinar on 19 May!

The webinar, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Health and Social Inequalities in Older People” was chaired by MICRA Director and Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, Alistair Burns. We hosted 3 speakers in the hour-long event, with viewers' questions being addressed after each speakers presentation.

Tarani Chandola's presentation focused on “The impact of COVID-19 on wellbeing”. The presentation discussed the results from a recent survey of wellbeing indicators from the Opinion and Lifestyle Survey in Great Britain. Tarani spoke on whether older adults are at risk of decreased wellbeing during the COVID-19 lockdown period in GB.

Debbie Price presented on '"Gender, Ageing and COVID-19" explaining how different life trajectories lead to accumulations of advantage and disadvantage. These life-course effects are most evident in understanding women’s disadvantaged position in later life in material resources, pensions and income. These disadvantages, in turn, are linked to other disadvantages in participation in society, housing and health.

For women, these disadvantages accrue across the life course, principally due to care (especially motherhood), paid work and partnership histories. In the paper Debbie reflects on two things: (1) our need to understand how COVID-19 will disrupt the life course for women, potentially reversing gains made more recently towards gender quality and (2) our need to understand how COVID-19 is affecting older women now with their accumulated life course disadvantages.

Catherine Robinson presented “Highlighting health and social inequalities in older people: has it gone viral?” The presentation took a rhetorical stroll through recent events. The effects and responses to COVID-19 have highlighted a lot of things we already know. Health and social inequalities have been brought into that well-rehearsed ‘sharp focus’, not least by the crisis in the care sector. Research ideas are proliferating. Turning research ideas into research questions and projects that help to understand and mitigate health and social inequalities which will continue to be spiral bound to the tail and the tale of COVID-19.

View the video here.

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