New Report — COVID-19 and Aging

January 29, 2021

A new national survey of more than 4,300 Canadians aged 55+ has found that ‘younger’ older adults – those between the ages of 55 and 64 – are experiencing more detrimental effects of the pandemic than those over 65. The same age group is also found to be less likely to follow COVID-19 public health recommendations. The findings are in a report released today looking at the impact of the pandemic on older adults’ daily life. The survey was undertaken by a research team led by Simon Fraser University gerontology professor emeritus Gloria Gutman, as part of a Canadian Frailty Network – Supported iCAN Advance Care Planning study. 

The team’s report found that those in the ‘younger’ older group are more likely to have greater discord at home with negative income challenges, adding that women are taking a ‘harder hit’ in their daily lives. The researchers suggest more attention is needed to address the “unique stressors” experiences by ‘younger’ older adults, including increasing public education efforts and promoting wellness strategies to reduce the health burden of sedimentary behaviour.

Gutman, the SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre’s first director, and has studied aging and seniors for more than three decades. She is currently president of the North American Chapter of International Society for Gerontechnology. 

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