Older Adults, Physical Distancing & Social Isolation During the COVID-19 Pandemic – What can Communities do NOW?

AFC Past Webinars, Age-Friendly Communities Knowledge Exchange, Age-Friendly Communities Outreach


Date: April 16 2020


  • Dr. John Puxty, Geriatrician, Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s University, Director of the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health 
  • Sarah Webster, Knowledge Broker, Centre for Studies in Aging and Health

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Canadians are required to practice ‘physical distancing’ and, when necessary, ‘self-isolation’. National and provincial governments are also advising older adults to stay home and avoid contact with others to reduce their risk of exposure, as they are among the most vulnerable to severe illness from the disease.

Dr. Puxty discusses the inherent barriers that will emerge for older adults trying to access daily essentials like food and medical supplies, spend quality time with their families and friends, and navigate assistance and services. He also explores the unintended health consequences that may emerge when vulnerable populations are isolated from others for an extended period.

It is imperative that we work together to find innovative, accessible and easy-to-implement solutions to tackle these emerging issues. Ms. Webster shares some of the creative ways communities are ensuring that older adults stay informed, and are able to access the services they need, accomplish their everyday chores, and stay socially active while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.



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