One of the most challenging aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals has been losing a sense of community and connectedness with others. In this presentation we discuss preliminary findings about the impacts on sources of community for older adult participants in the COVID-19 Coping Study, a national longitudinal study that aims to understand how the pandemic is affecting the mental health and well-being of older adults in America. We have been using a collaborative process to code and qualitatively analyze responses from a randomized subset of 500 participants. We will share overarching themes of sources of community that are important to older adults; how the pandemic has affected their engagement with and interactions in these communities; and feelings expressed by participants regarding what they value, miss, and find challenging about their communities during the pandemic. This study has implications for understanding the most important sources of community for older adults and how to better help support those who are struggling with loss of these sources during a crisis or emergency such as this pandemic.
Bergman, Lynelle; Concepción, Kennedy; and Cannon, Melissa, "Sources of Community for Older Adults: Findings from the COVID-19 Coping Study" (2021). Academic Excellence Showcase Proceedings. 321.
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