J Gerontol Soc Work. 2020 Aug 3:1-4. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2020.1799282. Online ahead of print.
The invisible but deleterious impact of COVID-19 on health increases previously accumulated health disparities among older adults. Compared to hearing older adults, deaf older adults and older adults with hearing loss may be at higher risk for adverse COVID-related outcomes. This may be largely due to the intersection of low health literacy and knowledge about COVID-19, lack of access to public information regarding COVID-19, higher prevalence of chronic diseases, unintended negative consequences of using masks, and inaccessible health-care services (including COVID-19 testing). Therefore, social workers should develop and implement efficacious interventions aimed at reducing adverse COVID-19 outcomes in Deaf older adults and older adults with hearing loss.