Women and those in their 50s and early 60s reported the most stress about COVID
A poll of people over 50 shows that most are finding joy and staying resilient amid the pandemic as holidays approach. But physicians should be aware that a sizeable minority are feeling high stress levels, including about their risk of getting COVID-19.
Women and those in their 50s and early 60s were more likely to report feeling a lot of stress, particularly among those who said their overall physical or mental health is fair or poor, and those with the lowest incomes.
The poll found that 27% of people over 50 said that just thinking about leaving their house caused them stress about the possibility of catching the coronavirus, while 58% said thinking about going to a crowded indoor space made them feel stressed for the same reason.
The poll is based at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and supported by AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.
“The clear differences in ability to find joy during these times, and in experiences of stress, based on health status, shows the importance of focusing on those in poor health,” said poll report author Lindsay Kobayashi, Ph.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor of epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health, in a statement. “But for all older adults, we know that alterations in daily life impact emotional and mental health, so finding safe ways to enjoy favorite activities is important.”
The poll was taken before widespread availability of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine for older adults.
Fifteen percent of the older adults polled said they’ve become more resilient and able to “bounce back” or overcome challenges during the pandemic, while 71% said they are just as resilient as they were before the pandemic.
Other poll findings: