Living with the Times: new toolkit helps older adults maintain good mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Living with the Times” toolkit contains illustrated posters with key messages for older adults on how to maintain their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, while supporting those around them at the same time. 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. For the first time, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG) in a unique collaboration with experts from different disciplines, including dementia, MHPSS in humanitarian settings, and ageing and disability, developed a resource specifically targeting the needs of older adults.
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.
All posters are included at the end of the toolkit. High-resolution posters for printing can be downloaded using this link. Please note that posters are best printed on A3 paper (minimum size A4) or shown on large screens (not on mobile phones or tablets).
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.)