Drs. Skye Leedahl and Erica Estus
Dr. Leedahl (SSIREP Fellow; Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies and Political Science) and Erica Estus (Clinical Professor of Pharmacy) have partnered with the Census Outreach team and Age-Friendly RI to develop a protocol for URI and Rhode Island College students to make calls to adults 60+ (one of the hard-to-reach census groups) to mention the importance of the census and encourage them to fill it out. During the calls, the students also provide individuals with contact information for resources through the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging. These calls are designed to improve access to important resources while also helping to address concerns of social isolation among older adults during the pandemic. Dr. Leedahl is also taking part in the Age-Friendly Rhode Island Social Isolation Workgroup, and together this group of experts in aging services, government, and academia are working to identify innovative ways to ensure older adults, including those in nursing homes and assisted living, can stay socially connected. They are working on ideas to help increase access to technology for those living in nursing homes or assisted living and those living in the community with lower incomes & to provide TV, radio, and web-based programming to increase access to resources.