There’s a new study by Amica Senior Lifestyles that looks at the mental and lifestyle impact of COVID-19 on the elderly in the US and Canada.
- 85% of the elderly surveyed said they talk more about their mental health
- 38% say they feel less connected with their loved ones during this pandemic
- 72% of seniors said they used video calling at some point during the pandemic.
- Of those who have used video calling, 54% said it helped them feel connected with family and friends in the past nine months.
- 2 in 5 older adults have used social networks (42%) and Netflix and Disney + (41%)
- Almost a third (31%) of older people use streaming services to help manage their mental health
- 41% of the elderly have used cooking in the past nine months, and 30% of the elderly have followed a more vegan and plant-based diet.
Those who are found in the baby boomer group are more likely to see a pandemic statistically as a threat to their wellbeing and health, similar to others during the 2020 year, as many have their way of life either electrically or forced by government action.
To understand the effects, Amica Senior Lifestyles surveyed 1,409 Americans and Canadian seniors on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed older lifestyles mentally and physically.
When asked about the pandemic, it made them think more and talk about their mental health. 85% of American and Canadian respondents said it did. With almost 3 out of 4 (74%) seniors saying they also think more about spirituality.
Part of this consideration of over-mental health is partly due to the isolation that many seniors have felt over the past nine months, as many have not been able to meet relatives or friends or have reversed their daily routines.
This isolation shows that almost 2 out of 5 (38%) of the seniors felt less connected to their families during this time.
72% of Americans and Canadians surveyed had engaged in video calls at some point during the pandemic. The most popular software and technology with seniors in the United States and Canada were; Zoom (35%), Google Meet/Duo (22%), WhatsApp (19%), and Facetime (15%).
More than half (54%) of respondents said that video calls brought them closer to their family, and 2 out of 5 (42%) said that the connection and closeness they felt during video calls had a positive effect on their mental and physical health. wellbeing
While video calling was the most significant technology ‘adoption’ of older people in the pandemic, social media and streaming services also saw an increase in the opening of accounts for older people.
42% stated that they began to use social media, while 41% stated that they started using services like Disney+ and Netflix, and 29% stated that they used music services.
When asked about their streaming habits, a third (33%) of respondents said they used the service to enjoy feelings of nostalgia for old movies and shows. In comparison, 31% said they use it to help maintain positive mental wellbeing and a quarter (25%) use these platforms, especially to make them laugh and feel happy.
In addition to technology to entertain and stay in touch, older people have also started shopping and banking online; to control their spending and buy household goods.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of seniors surveyed said they had shopped online for the first time in response to the pandemic’s effects on store opening and health concerns. In comparison, 46% of respondents said they were shopping online more than before the pandemic.
More than a third (35%) said that the pandemic had introduced them to online banking to manage their finances, but still, 23% said that the pandemic’s limitations had made it difficult to manage their finances.
Overall, the majority (71%) of our seniors and baby boomers said they plan to stick with at least some elements of their new technology choices once the global pandemic is over.
Aside from digital technology, 2 in 5 (41%) said they started cooking in the past nine months, while a third (34%) started baking and 32% started painting and drawing. Additionally, our survey found that 3 in 5 (61%) of respondents said they were more likely to research and try bucket list experiences after over-citing the exclusion restrictions and limitations as motivation.
Perhaps as part of their cooking hobby and experimenting with different cuisines, our research found that 30% of seniors made it a habit from the start to eat more plant-based and vegan meals of the pandemic. Conversely, 1 in 5 people (21%) reported eating more meat, while 49% reported no change in their food preferences.
As for older people, the majority (59%) said they ate significantly healthier, while only 9% said they ate more junk food than before the pandemic. 88% said they would stick to the food choices they made after the pandemic passed.
In response to our survey, and found that older people think more and talk about their mental health, comments Nicole Arzt, a licensed marriage and family therapist, at Family Enthusiast:
‘We know the physical risks of COVID in the elderly, but we can not ignore the mental health risks associated with locks, social distancing, use of masks, and more. However, loneliness is already a significant problem affecting older people, and this pandemic exacerbates the feeling of too many people. It is difficult not to be able to see the children or grandchildren. ”
“We must continue to talk about the effects of mental health and provide support to this population. This does not reduce the risk of COVID. Instead, we must remember that parallel problems such as depression, anxiety, increased substance, poor eating habits, etc., can have short-term and long-term consequences. ”
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