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Living Alone During COVID-19: Social Contact and Emotional Well-Being among Older Adults

Living Alone During COVID-19: Social Contact and Emotional Well-Being among Older Adults Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/innovateage/article/4/Supplement_1/951/6036031 by DeepDyve user on 10 August 2022 Innovation in Aging, 2020, Vol. 4, No. S1 951 LEARNING TOGETHER DURING A PANDEMIC related to higher levels of negate affect among those living LOCKDOWN: CONNECTING OLDER MENTORS WITH alone, but not among those who live with others. Findings NURSING STUDENTS suggest older adults who live alone may be more reactive 1 2 Alison Phinney, and Frances Affleck, 1. University Of to social contact during the COVID 19 outbreak than older British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, adults who reside with others. In-person contact appears to 2. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British confer distinct benefits not available via telephone contact, Columbia, Canada suggesting that possible interventions during the pandemic Nursing education tends to focus on complex clinical may work best with safe forms of in-person contact. issues affecting older adults who are acutely ill or in long-term care. This creates challenges for educators wanting to expose LONELINESS AMONG RURAL AND UNDERSERVED students to a greater range of experience, including realities OLDER ADULTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC 1 2 1 of healthy aging. Opportunities to do things differently were Lindsay Wilkinson, Julie Masters, Christopher Kelly, 3 3 4 presented when an established undergraduate nursing course Miechelle McKelvey, Ladan Ghazi Saidi, and Toni Hill, on complex aging care underwent significant adjustment in 1. University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the course United States, 2. University of Nebraska Omaha, Lincoln, was condensed and moved online and clinical sites closed, in- Nebraska, United States, 3. University of Nebraska Kearney, vitations were extended to community-dwelling older people Kearney, Nebraska, United States, 4. University of Nebraska - who wanted to “help teach nursing students about aging”. Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska, United States The response was overwhelming; over nine days, 118 people During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults are among (ages 65-94) volunteered to be mentors. Through weekly the most vulnerable populations to the medical complica- online/ phone conversations, each person guided their as- tions of COVID-19; however, they are also deeply affected signed student to learn about diverse experiences of aging. by the unintended consequences of social distancing and Post-survey results showed the impact of these conversa- sheltering in place. Social distancing effectively mitigates the tions. Over 90% of mentors felt they had contributed in a spread of COVID-19, but this practice can also lead to so- meaningful way to student learning and would do it again cial isolation and loneliness. Drawing on a sample of adults and recommend it to others. 85% of students felt it was a age 60 or older receiving Meals on Wheels/Grab and Go meaningful experience, offering comments like: “I am more Meals in the state of Nebraska, this study investigates lone- mindful of my assumptions now” and “I learned to approach liness among rural and underserved older adults during the interactions with older adults as a collaboration; we have COVID-19 pandemic. Surveys were distributed to 3725 meal so much to give each other”. These results provide a needed recipients across Nebraska’s eight Area Agencies on Aging counterpoint to the predominant COVID discourse of older in July 2020 (response rate = 50%), and a stratified random people as “isolated, helpless, and needy”. Students came to subsample was selected for preliminary analysis (N = 240). understand that older people were also “engaged, active, and Logistic regression models were used to estimate the effects contributing” and identified how this had changed their view of COVID-19 and its associated safety precautions on lone- of aging. Implications for nursing education are explored. liness. The findings reveal that 1 in 10 older adults have not left their home in over a month, and 38 percent feel lonelier LIVING ALONE DURING COVID-19: SOCIAL due to the impact of COVID-19. Older adults who engaged CONTACT AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING AMONG in more community activities before the pandemic, reported OLDER ADULTS leaving their home less, and experienced a longer absence of 1 1 1 Yee To Ng, Karen Fingerman, Shiyang Zhang, social interaction since the pandemic all had significantly in - 1 2 3 Katherine Britt, Gianna Colera, Kira Birditt, and creased odds of feeling lonelier in the COVID-19 era. Longer Susan Charles, 1. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, duration of sheltering in place was marginally associated Texas, United States, 2. Texas State University, Austin, with increased loneliness. The findings from this study show Texas, United States, 3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the consequences of social distancing on rural and under- Michigan, United States, 4. BSS, Irvine, California, served older adults, which calls for coordinated intervention. United States The COVID-19 outbreak and the associated physical LONELINESS DURING COVID-19: DOES LIVING distancing measures dramatically altered the social world for SITUATION OR ABILITY TO ACCESS INFORMATION most older adults, but people who live alone may have been ABOUT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES MATTER? 1 2 3 disproportionately affected. The current study examined Patti Parker, Verena Menec, and Nancy Newall, how living alone was related to social contact and emotional 1. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, well-being among older adults during the pandemic. Adults 2. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, (N = 226) aged 69+ completed a brief survey assessing their 3. Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada living situation, social contact with different social partners Social isolation is deleterious for both mental and phys- (in person, by phone, electronically), and emotions during ical health (Coyle & Dugan, 2012; Hawkley et  al., 2006). the morning, afternoon and evening the prior day. Older Conversely, social participation has mental and physical health adults who live alone were less likely to see others in person benefits (Novek et al., 2013). In light of the current Covid-19 or to receive or provide help, and reported less positive emo- pandemic requiring social distancing, the present study exam- tion the prior day than those who lived with others. Living ined whether living situation and ability to access information alone was associated with more positive emotions concur- about social activities are associated with older adults’ loneli- rent with in-person contact. In contrast, phone contact was ness during the pandemic. Specifically, we surveyed ninety-one GSA 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Innovation in Aging Oxford University Press

Living Alone During COVID-19: Social Contact and Emotional Well-Being among Older Adults

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 The Gerontological Society of America
eISSN
2399-5300
DOI
10.1093/geroni/igaa057.3479
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/innovateage/article/4/Supplement_1/951/6036031 by DeepDyve user on 10 August 2022 Innovation in Aging, 2020, Vol. 4, No. S1 951 LEARNING TOGETHER DURING A PANDEMIC related to higher levels of negate affect among those living LOCKDOWN: CONNECTING OLDER MENTORS WITH alone, but not among those who live with others. Findings NURSING STUDENTS suggest older adults who live alone may be more reactive 1 2 Alison Phinney, and Frances Affleck, 1. University Of to social contact during the COVID 19 outbreak than older British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, adults who reside with others. In-person contact appears to 2. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British confer distinct benefits not available via telephone contact, Columbia, Canada suggesting that possible interventions during the pandemic Nursing education tends to focus on complex clinical may work best with safe forms of in-person contact. issues affecting older adults who are acutely ill or in long-term care. This creates challenges for educators wanting to expose LONELINESS AMONG RURAL AND UNDERSERVED students to a greater range of experience, including realities OLDER ADULTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC 1 2 1 of healthy aging. Opportunities to do things differently were Lindsay Wilkinson, Julie Masters, Christopher Kelly, 3 3 4 presented when an established undergraduate nursing course Miechelle McKelvey, Ladan Ghazi Saidi, and Toni Hill, on complex aging care underwent significant adjustment in 1. University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the course United States, 2. University of Nebraska Omaha, Lincoln, was condensed and moved online and clinical sites closed, in- Nebraska, United States, 3. University of Nebraska Kearney, vitations were extended to community-dwelling older people Kearney, Nebraska, United States, 4. University of Nebraska - who wanted to “help teach nursing students about aging”. Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska, United States The response was overwhelming; over nine days, 118 people During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults are among (ages 65-94) volunteered to be mentors. Through weekly the most vulnerable populations to the medical complica- online/ phone conversations, each person guided their as- tions of COVID-19; however, they are also deeply affected signed student to learn about diverse experiences of aging. by the unintended consequences of social distancing and Post-survey results showed the impact of these conversa- sheltering in place. Social distancing effectively mitigates the tions. Over 90% of mentors felt they had contributed in a spread of COVID-19, but this practice can also lead to so- meaningful way to student learning and would do it again cial isolation and loneliness. Drawing on a sample of adults and recommend it to others. 85% of students felt it was a age 60 or older receiving Meals on Wheels/Grab and Go meaningful experience, offering comments like: “I am more Meals in the state of Nebraska, this study investigates lone- mindful of my assumptions now” and “I learned to approach liness among rural and underserved older adults during the interactions with older adults as a collaboration; we have COVID-19 pandemic. Surveys were distributed to 3725 meal so much to give each other”. These results provide a needed recipients across Nebraska’s eight Area Agencies on Aging counterpoint to the predominant COVID discourse of older in July 2020 (response rate = 50%), and a stratified random people as “isolated, helpless, and needy”. Students came to subsample was selected for preliminary analysis (N = 240). understand that older people were also “engaged, active, and Logistic regression models were used to estimate the effects contributing” and identified how this had changed their view of COVID-19 and its associated safety precautions on lone- of aging. Implications for nursing education are explored. liness. The findings reveal that 1 in 10 older adults have not left their home in over a month, and 38 percent feel lonelier LIVING ALONE DURING COVID-19: SOCIAL due to the impact of COVID-19. Older adults who engaged CONTACT AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING AMONG in more community activities before the pandemic, reported OLDER ADULTS leaving their home less, and experienced a longer absence of 1 1 1 Yee To Ng, Karen Fingerman, Shiyang Zhang, social interaction since the pandemic all had significantly in - 1 2 3 Katherine Britt, Gianna Colera, Kira Birditt, and creased odds of feeling lonelier in the COVID-19 era. Longer Susan Charles, 1. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, duration of sheltering in place was marginally associated Texas, United States, 2. Texas State University, Austin, with increased loneliness. The findings from this study show Texas, United States, 3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the consequences of social distancing on rural and under- Michigan, United States, 4. BSS, Irvine, California, served older adults, which calls for coordinated intervention. United States The COVID-19 outbreak and the associated physical LONELINESS DURING COVID-19: DOES LIVING distancing measures dramatically altered the social world for SITUATION OR ABILITY TO ACCESS INFORMATION most older adults, but people who live alone may have been ABOUT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES MATTER? 1 2 3 disproportionately affected. The current study examined Patti Parker, Verena Menec, and Nancy Newall, how living alone was related to social contact and emotional 1. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, well-being among older adults during the pandemic. Adults 2. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, (N = 226) aged 69+ completed a brief survey assessing their 3. Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada living situation, social contact with different social partners Social isolation is deleterious for both mental and phys- (in person, by phone, electronically), and emotions during ical health (Coyle & Dugan, 2012; Hawkley et  al., 2006). the morning, afternoon and evening the prior day. Older Conversely, social participation has mental and physical health adults who live alone were less likely to see others in person benefits (Novek et al., 2013). In light of the current Covid-19 or to receive or provide help, and reported less positive emo- pandemic requiring social distancing, the present study exam- tion the prior day than those who lived with others. Living ined whether living situation and ability to access information alone was associated with more positive emotions concur- about social activities are associated with older adults’ loneli- rent with in-person contact. In contrast, phone contact was ness during the pandemic. Specifically, we surveyed ninety-one GSA 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting

Journal

Innovation in AgingOxford University Press

Published: Dec 16, 2020

There are no references for this article.