College of Health Sciences


Community & Environ Health


Social and Behavioral Science

Publication Date





Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults are advised to remain in their homes and personal spaces since they are at greater risk for COVID-19 related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. Health professionals and caregivers are concerned that preventative measures, especially social isolation, may have long-term psychological and age-related effects among older adults. A survey prepared by the Center for Global Health at Old Dominion University, in collaboration with Healthy Chesapeake Inc., assessed social isolation, associated emotions, and daily coping activities of older adults in Chesapeake, Virginia. The target population included senior residents of the Cambridge Square Apartments, where Healthy Chesapeake Inc. offers community programs that encourage social connection and community involvement. This exploratory study examined how older adults in this environment perceived social isolation, their associated emotions, and daily coping activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 37 residents responded to the survey, of which 10.81% were males, and 89.19% were females. The results showed that respondents remained socially connected despite their limitations. Even though respondents listed various coping activities, television watching and reading were the highest recorded daily activities among older adults who had feelings of isolation or loneliness. Therefore, everyday coping activities, especially television watching, can be used to provide fun and educational activities that promote better health outcomes and longevity among older adults.


Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Geriatrics | Mental and Social Health | Public Health



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An Exploratory Study of Older Adults’ Emotions to Social Isolation and Their Coping Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic