Australas J Ageing. 2021 Mar;40(1):84-89. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12924. Epub 2021 Mar 8.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life and social networks of older adults receiving community care services.
METHODS: Quality of life and social network questionnaires were completed by older adults (n = 21) receiving home care services at three time points (2018, 2019, and during the first Australian COVID-19 lockdown in 2020). Additional questions about technology use were included in 2020.
RESULTS: Older adults’ quality of life significantly decreased during the pandemic compared to the prior year. During the pandemic, over 80% used technology to maintain contact with family and friends, and social networks did not change.
CONCLUSION: Government messages and support initiatives directed towards technology adoption among older adults receiving home care may assist with maintaining social connection during COVID-19. Our findings add to the relatively limited understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socio-emotional well-being of older people.