Mental Health Ramifications of Social Distancing in the Elderly
What effect does social distancing brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have on perceived loneliness and depressive symptoms of elderly people?
Keywords:Social distancing, Elderly, Mental Health, Loneliness, Depression, Geriatric
There were many unknown factors that arose from the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. Many researchers began to conduct research on questions surrounding this pandemic. One such question is how the COVID-19 pandemic affects people’s mental states. This is, of course, far too broad of a question to properly research, but this study narrows down that question to discover the effect of the pandemic on the elderly’s self-perceived loneliness and depression.
This question was researched using a survey design that collected quantitative data, which was then interpreted with qualitative statistics to better understand the meaning of the results. This survey was conducted in a nursing home in February of 2021. This nursing home is in Miami and a total of 40 participants were used in the data collection, though two were later omitted due to incomplete responses. In keeping with the common demographic of Miami, many of the participants were Spanish speaking, and the questionnaires and consent forms were translated and offered in both English and Spanish.
Of the 40 participants that responded, all used the Spanish translation forms. Because of how recent this pandemic is and the length of time it takes for professional researchers to report findings accurately, there are few resources. The data that does exist is from earlier phases in the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus rather indefinite.
References or Bibliography
Crewdson, J. A. (2016). The effect of loneliness in the elderly population: a review. Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly, 1+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A451410410/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=6ec639a0
Desai, R., Abraham, D., Harshe, D., Ramakrishnan, A., Cholera, R., & Kale, S. (2016). A study of depression, perceived loneliness, cognitive function and independence in daily activities in home and institution based older people: A cross sectional comparative study. Journal of Geriatric Mental Health, 3(2), 140. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A474695254/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=fe32de8d
Fischer, R., Bortolini, T., Karl, J. A., Zilberberg, M., Robinson, K., Rabelo, A., Mattos, P. (2020, September 24). Rapid Review and Meta-Meta-Analysis of Self-Guided Interventions to Address Anxiety, Depression, and Stress During COVID-19 Social Distancing. Frontiers. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.563876.
Gonçalves, A. P., Salvador, A. P., Jaloto, A., & Zuanazzi, A. C. (2020, May). (PDF) Preliminary findings on the associations between mental health indicators and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341463261_Preliminary_findings_on_the_associations_between_mental_health_indicators_and_social_isolation_during_the_COVID-19_pandemic.
Greenberg, S. A. (2018). The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS): Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) | Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. https://hign.org/consultgeri/try-this-series/geriatric-depression-scale-gds.
Grover, S., & Malhotra, N. (2015). Depression in elderly: A review of Indian research. Journal of Geriatric Mental Health, 2(1), 4. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A423313637/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=8943654b
Grover, S., Avasthi, A., Sahoo, S., & Lakdawala, B. (2018, January). Relationship of loneliness and social connectedness with depression in elderly: A multicentric study under the aegis of Indian Association for Geriatric Mental Health. Researchgate. https://www.jgmh.org/article.asp?issn=2348-9995;year=2018;volume=5;issue=2;spage=99;epage=106;aulast=Grover.
Ibarra, F., Baez, M., Cernuzzi, L., & Casati, F. (2020). A Systematic Review on Technology-Supported Interventions to Improve Old-Age Social Wellbeing: Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Connectedness. Journal of Healthcare Engineering. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A636435314/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=4d75a9f9
Igbokwe, C. C., Ejeh, V. J., Agbaje, O. S., Umoke, P. I. C., Iweama, C. N., & Ozoemena, E. L. (2020, April 23). Prevalence of loneliness and association with depressive and anxiety symptoms among retirees in Northcentral Nigeria: a cross-sectional study. BMC Geriatrics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-01561-4.
Impact of Social Support and Adjustment Problems on Perceived Loneliness in Elderly. (2020). Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal, (2), 474. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A623895118/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=ce3f8967
Raut, N., Singh, S., Subramanyam, A., Pinto, C., Kamath, R., & Shanker, S. (2014). Study of loneliness, depression and coping mechanisms in elderly. Journal of Geriatric Mental Health, 1(1), 20. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A416436855/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=bbfe1061
Robb, C. E., de Jager, C. A., Ahmadi-Abhari, S., Giannakopoulou, P., Udeh-Momoh, C., McKeand, J., … Middleton, L. (2020, August 31). Associations of Social Isolation with Anxiety and Depression During the Early COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of Older Adults in London, UK. Frontiers. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.591120.
Russell, D. (n.d.). UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3). SPARQtools. https://sparqtools.org/mobility-measure/ucla-loneliness-scale-version-3/.
Singh, A., & Misra, N. (2009). Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age. Industrial Psychiatry, 18(1), 51. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A215002658/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=c210a872
Yang, Y., Zhao, Y., Zhang, F., Zhang, L., & Li, L. (2020). COVID-19 in Elderly Adults: Clinical Features, Molecular Mechanisms, and Proposed Strategies. Aging and Disease, 11(6), 1481+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A648332559/AONE?u=fl_program&sid=AONE&xid=5bfa5a84
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Thomas Larson; Janette Sierra
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Copyright holder(s) granted JSR a perpetual, non-exclusive license to distriute & display this article.