The Ritz Herald
© Christian Langballe

COVID-19’s Impact on America’s Seniors? Loneliness and Worry

With 44% of younger Americans talking to and visiting seniors more frequently during the Pandemic, 70% of seniors worry about their safety

Published on September 09, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has brought new anxieties to seniors and their younger family members according to a new survey published by by LendingTree. And rather than worrying about falling sick, seniors are grappling with loneliness, and deep worries about the safety and health of their families.

  • 36% of American seniors aged 75 and older report increased feelings of loneliness amid the pandemic. 28% of these seniors said their loneliness was the direct result of not being able to visit their loved ones. And over a quarter of the surveyed elderly Americans wished their family members would simply speak to them more often on the phone.
  • 70% of seniors say the COVID-19 pandemic has multiplied the worries they feel for younger loved ones. 46% of seniors are worried that the virus would infect their loved ones, a higher percentage than the seniors who expressed feeling terrified about getting it themselves. 26% are worried that the pandemic is causing their loved ones to miss out on life experiences, while 15% feel their family isn’t taking the virus seriously.
  • 28% of seniors called for more stringent social distancing guidelines, due to the worries they feel over the safety of their younger family members. Fewer than one in 10 replied that they thought guidelines for social distancing are currently too strict.
  • 44% of younger Americans said they’re talking to elderly relatives more frequently than they did before the pandemic. But those conversations haven’t always been pleasant. One in three Americans — and 57% of those aged 18-23 — have argued with an elderly relative about not taking enough precautions (23%) or taking too many precautions (10%) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 41% of all Americans don’t trust nursing homes and assisted living facilities to keep senior residents safe amid the pandemic. And this worry may be making Americans endanger themselves. Over one-quarter of Americans aged 75 and younger reported that they’ve increased their in-person visits to their elderly relatives during the pandemic – because they are anxious about the pandemic’s effects on their elderly relatives’ care and their mental states.

According to Andrew Hurst, a research analyst at, “This is now our second study that shows that loneliness is a serious side-effect of this pandemic – and these findings continue to give us a sense of the mental toll of COVID-19.” He adds, “These feelings are something that could be exacerbated as the year shifts to the holidays, especially as, at this moment, one-quarter reported seeing their older loved ones more frequently than before the pandemic. If all generations are lonely, we have to ask ourselves when the desire to reconnect is going to become too much.”

Staff Writer