To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the social lives of older adults across several areas, leading to concern about an increase in loneliness. This study examines the associations of structural, functional, and quality aspects of social connection with increased loneliness during COVID-19 and how these associations vary by sociodemographic factors.
Secondary data analyses on a nationally representative survey of older US adults.
The 2020 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) COVID-19 module.
The study sample includes 3,804 adults aged 54 or older.
Increased loneliness was based on respondents’ self-report on whether they felt lonelier than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
While 29% felt lonelier after COVID-19, middle-aged adults, women, non-Hispanic Whites, and the most educated were more likely to report increased loneliness. Not having enough in-person contact with people outside the household was associated with increased loneliness (OR = 10.07, p < .001). Receiving emotional support less frequently (OR = 2.28, p < .05) or more frequently (OR = 2.00, p < .001) than before was associated with increased loneliness. Worse quality of family relationships (OR = 1.85, p < .05) and worse friend/neighbor relationships (OR = 1.77, p < .01) were related to feeling lonelier. Significant interactions indicated stronger effects on loneliness of poor-quality family relationships for women and insufficient in-person contact with non-household people for the middle-aged group and non-Hispanic Whites.
Our findings show an increase in loneliness during COVID-19 that was partly due to social mitigation efforts, and also uncover how sociodemographic groups were impacted differently, providing implications for recovery and support.
A suboptimal diet and nutritional deficiencies can have important influences on health with significant impact among older adults. This study aims to assess the presence of suboptimal dietary intake among older Americans and identify risk and protective factors influencing diet quality.
Cross-sectional secondary analysis.
A nationally representative sample of 5614 community-dwelling older adults over age 54 in the Health and Retirement Study – Health Care and Nutrition Survey.
Overall, only 10·7 % of respondents had a good quality diet (Healthy Eating Index score 81 and above); the majority had diets considered poor or needing improvement. Less than 50 % of respondents met dietary guidelines and nutritional goals for most individual food groups and nutrients. Respondents with low socio-economic status, fewer psychosocial resources and those who had limited access to healthy food outlets were more likely to have a diet of suboptimal quality.
Efforts to remove identified barriers that put older adults at risk for poor nutrition and to provide resources that increase access to healthy food should be made to encourage healthy eating and enhance diet quality.
A social network is a valuable resource in later life. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate whether social networks within homes and neighbourhoods are associated with older adults’ daily fruit and vegetable consumption.
Cross-sectional secondary data analysis.
A nationally representative sample of 6865 community-dwelling older adults over age 53 in the Health and Retirement Study – Health Care and Nutrition Survey.
Older adults who lived alone with no children or friends nearby had the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption. However, the daily fruit and vegetable consumption of respondents who lived alone and had children or friends nearby or those who lived with someone and had no children or friends nearby was not statistically different from those who lived with someone and had children or friends nearby. This suggests that having a social network either at home or in the neighbourhood complements the absence of living with someone or having children or friends nearby and attenuates the negative association between limited social networks and daily fruit and vegetable consumption. A greater decrease in the number of fruits and vegetables consumed was observed among men when they lived alone with no children or friends nearby.
Special attention should be given to older adults with limited social networks, especially older adults living alone with no children or friends nearby. Provision of help with grocery shopping and meal preparation as well as social support networks and more opportunities that can improve social engagement appear to be necessary.
One of the major aspects of successful ageing is active engagement in later life. Retirement and widowhood are two significant life transitions that may largely influence leisure engagement patterns among older adults. Limited findings exist regarding the impact of life transitions on leisure activity engagement due to the scarcity of longitudinal data with repeated measurement of older individuals’ leisure engagement. This study longitudinally examined changes in leisure activity engagement as influenced by retirement and widowhood using five waves of national panel data from the Health and Retirement Study and its supplementary Consumption and Activities Mail Survey. Multi-level modelling was conducted with retirement and widowhood status as time-varying variables. Socio-economic status, depressive symptoms, cognitive function, self-rated health and functional limitations were also included as time-varying and time-invariant covariates. Findings show that engagement in mental, physical, social and household activities significantly decreased during an eight-year period. Moreover, transition from working to retired status was associated with increased engagement in mental, social and household activities but decreased engagement in physical activities among men only. Transition from married to widowhood status was associated with decreased engagement in household activities among women only. Encouraging active leisure engagement among individuals who experience either or both life transitions may help maintain their health after transition.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.