The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on wellbeing and cognitive functioning of older adults

Sarah De Pue, Céline R Gillebert, Eva Dierckx, Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt, Rudi De Raedt, Eva Van den Bussche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

COVID-19 took a heavy toll on older adults. In Belgium, by the end of August, 93% of deaths due to COVID-19 were aged 65 or older. Similar trends were observed in other countries. As a consequence, older adults were identified as a group at risk, and strict governmental restrictions were imposed on them. This has caused concerns about their mental health. Using an online survey, this study established the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults aged 65 years or older, and which factors moderate this impact. Participants reported a significant decrease in activity level, sleep quality and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Depression was strongly related to reported declines in activity level, sleep quality, wellbeing and cognitive functioning. Our study shows that the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the mental health of older adults. This implies that this group at risk requires attention of governments and healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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