Older Adults' Behavioral Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published in: COVID-19, Frontline Responders and Mental Health: A Playbook for Delivering Resilient Public Health Systems Post-Pandemic, Chapter 2, pages 9–22 (2023). doi: 10.1108/978-1-80262-115-020231002
Posted on RAND.org on January 25, 2023
COVID-19's effects go beyond physical health, including impacts to behavioral health such as documented increases in loneliness, depression, anxiety, and alcohol misuse. Research on other disaster and mass trauma events suggests that behavioral health impacts may persist for many years after the initial onset of the event and could be compounded with other disasters. These impacts have not, and will not, be distributed evenly across the population. Of note, evidence from early in the pandemic suggests that older adults' (adults aged 65 and older) behavioral health may not be as adversely affected as expected, given past research on age and disasters.