The John A. Hartford Foundation is offering up a playbook to stakeholders trying to get more COVID-19 vaccinations into the arms of the homebound.
The nonprofit, dedicated to improving the lives of older adults, said the first order of business is defining who is included in the homebound population. Existing community-based organizations such as Agencies on Aging, emergency response teams, physicians, clergy, caregiver support groups and pharmacists should share information to make sure unvaccinated homebound adults aren’t being excluded.
The playbook also recommends outreach programs that include door-to-door canvassing, phone-banking, and advertising targeted to the homebound and their caregivers. It also recommends diversifying and expanding vaccinators, pointing to home healthcare providers and other trusted professionals, such as dentists and even medical students as vaccinators.
It’s estimated there are between two to 12 million older adults in the U.S. who are homebound due to complex medical needs or mental health issues that make it difficult for them to safely leave their homes.
To date, approximately 44% of Americans over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated. More than 75% of people over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated.