Health and Welfare Policy Forum

Social and Economic Experiences and Health Changes in Older Persons during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Author

    Namkung, Eun Ha

  • Page


  • PubDate

    2021. 10.

  • Language


Using data from the 2020 National Survey of COVID-19 and Older Persons, this paper describes the social, economic, and health-related changes of older persons during the COVID-19 pandemic and presents policy implications. Most survey respondents reported decreases in frequency or amount of time for various out-of-home activities such as visiting senior centers, participating in social clubs, and meeting family members or relatives not living in the same household. More than half of the respondents also reported that they have experienced worries about COVID-19 infection, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and depressive symptoms since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of these experiences varied by socioeconomic characteristic, as those living alone and aged 80+ were most vulnerable. Thus, policies to protect older persons’ mental health and provide alternative social activities are needed especially for such vulnerable groups. Finally, continued financial
support may help recover income and/or job loss due to the pandemic for many older persons who run small businesses and are lower in perceived economic status.


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