“Lifetime Experiences Help Older Adults Build Resilience to Pandemic Trauma” – Kaiser Health Foundation

older resilience(KHN illustration; Getty Images)

by Judith Graham

“Older adults are especially vulnerable physically during the coronavirus pandemic. But they’re also notably resilient psychologically, calling upon a lifetime of experience and perspective to help them through difficult times.

“New research calls attention to this little-remarked-upon resilience as well as significant challenges for older adults as the pandemic stretches on. It shows that many seniors have changed behaviors — reaching out to family and friends, pursuing hobbies, exercising, participating in faith communities — as they strive to stay safe from the coronavirus.

“’There are some older adults who are doing quite well during the pandemic and have actually expanded their social networks and activities,’ said Brian Carpenter, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. ‘But you don’t hear about them because the pandemic narrative reinforces stereotypes of older adults as frail, disabled and dependent.'”

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