JHF Spearheads International Women’s Forum Healthcare Special Interest Group; Explores Senior Living Around the World
On April 28, the International Women's Forum Women held another meeting of its Health Care Special Interest Group, a network formed by Karen Feinstein and Debra Caplan. This week's program was organized by the Nancy Zionts, JHF Chief Program Officer. The Special Interest Group took a virtual journey around the world to "visit" various countries and learn about models of successful living for seniors. JHF Board Chair and IWF Pittsburgh Forum President Debra L. Caplan and JHF President & CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein (founding local IWF Chair) led the program.
Global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the topic, as the world witnessed the devastating losses that seniors and their families faced. In the welcoming remarks, Dr. Feinstein emphasized that the pandemic exposed many deficiencies in our systems of care, leadership, and preparedness. While some countries with reputations for strong systems of senior care also faced challenges and saw disease and death among their seniors, Dr. Feinstein said, overall, their policies and practices, rooted in a respect for older adults, enabled much better outcomes and can serve as a model the rest of us.
The program highlighted models in Denmark, Spain, Sweden, and Japan, presenting approaches from Dementia Villages to keeping couples together as they age. Featured speakers included Dr. Mercè Boada, Chief Medical Officer of private non-profit organization Fundacio ACE in Barcelona, Spain and Dr. Margarita Estévez-Abe, associate professor of political science at Syracuse University.
The group then went into breakout discussion sessions to reflect on the models presented and other appealing alternatives for senior living.