A toolkit contains illustrated posters with key messages for older adults on how to maintain their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic has been developed an international agency.
The “Living with the Times” has been developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG).
Thanks to their unique design, the posters require minimal reading skills, are culturally diverse and aim to engage older adults in conversations and activities, rather than simply share information. The toolkit also includes instructions for facilitators of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) on how to conduct guided conversations with older adults using these posters. Posters and facilitator instructions were designed in a way that each can be used alone or in combination, as a complete toolkit.
The “Living with the times” toolkit is truly unique.
A total of 199 older adults aged between 60 and 90 years, from 51 countries, were involved in the development of the toolkit. Through a network of country-level MHPSS Technical Working Groups, the posters were tested with older adults from different countries, income groups and contexts, including humanitarian settings.
The process was a unique inter-agency collaboration between experts from different disciplines, including dementia, MHPSS in humanitarian settings, and ageing and disability. Through a network of country-level MHPSS Technical Working Groups, the posters were then tested with 80 older adults from a wide range of countries, based on geographical location and different income groups and contexts. This testing phase included older adults living in humanitarian settings from a total of 10 countries. The facilitator guide was reviewed based on inputs from Member Agencies of the IASC MHPSS RG.
The posters and messaging build upon the existing IASC guidance sections for older adults (see IASC Interim Briefing Note Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Outbreak, and the IASC Guidance on Operational Considerations for Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic.)