Impacts of COVID-19 on Aging in the Right Place

November 21, 2022

Baek, J. (2022, November). Impacts of COVID-19 on Aging in the Right Place  [paper presentation]. University of Calgary Undergraduate Research Symposium, Calgary, AB.    



As the Canadian population ages, the population of older adults experiencing homelessness (OAEH) also increases. According to the Calgary Homelessness Foundation (2018), 45% of people experiencing homelessness are aged 45 and over. By 2030, all baby boomers will be 65 or older and incremental demands are expected for shelter and service provision for OAEH. The needs and experiences of OAEH are not homogenous; their characteristics, experiences, and pathways to homelessness vary. Responding to the diverse challenges, needs, and vulnerabilities of OAEH underpins this research, using an intersectional theoretical lens.


The existing data from the AIRP project will undergo secondary data analysis, under the permission of Calgary research team lead, Dr. Christine Walsh. Five interviews with service providers and 10 interviews with the Kerby shelter residents will undergo thematic analysis. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and will be thematically analyzed using NVivo, a qualitative data analysis program. Key themes related to Covid-19 and its impact on service provision will be identified.


By identifying the unique needs for shelter and service provision for OAEH with histories of abuse in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, this study will highlight challenges and offer emerging best practices for this highly vulnerable population. Recommendations will have utility for other social work practice for older adults facing disasters.

Congratulations to Jina Baek for winning the Best Presentation Award!

Tell us a little about the award and why it was received:
During the Fall 2022 semester, I had an opportunity to complete my practicum with AIRP. My supervisor, Dr. Christine Walsh, encouraged me to develop an individual project related to AIRP. I looked up the collected data and found that those interviews occurred one year after the declaration of COVID-19 pandemic. Because the service providers had just been through physical restrictions related to COVID-19, they provided fresh reflections and meaningful insights about impacts of COVID-19 on transitional housing for seniors fleeing from elder abuse. I focused on the theme related COVID-19 and its impacts on aging in the right place. I submitted the project to the Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) at University of Calgary and received the award of Faculty of Social Work.

Did your role as a member of the AIRP-VABE team have any influence on you receiving this award?
My practicum supervisors, Dr. Walsh and PhD(c). Alison Grittner, guided me to develop the theme and cohesiveness of my project. As a BSW student, practicum with AIRP offered me an opportunity to increase my knowledge about qualitative research. I also learned the importance of evidence-based practice (EBP) and research’s role in EBP. The AIRP Calgary team helped me to develop research skills. As a AIRP research practicum student, I was able to analyze the collected data and conduct interviews with research participants. Developing and completing my own research project is one of the most memorable moments in my BSW journey. I gained competency about myself, and I believe it is beneficial for my future social work journey.