Social Isolation and Resilience of Japanese Older Adults Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights From a Qualitative Interview Study

Abstract

We sought to investigate the responses of older Japanese adults to the COVID-19 pandemic, looking for latent references to social isolation in interviews that took place in April-May 2021, regarding their everyday activities and health both before and during the pandemic period. We performed a thematic analysis on coded interview transcript data acquired from 15 older adults (mean age 73 years, SD 4.4) living in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. We used an inductive approach, establishing codes that referenced negative outcomes, as well as positive practices made by the participants. We found that older adults had experienced several negative outcomes from the pandemic, including social isolation and related health, mental, and emotional impacts. We discovered that some of our participants had cultivated a resilience mindset in response to the stresses of the pandemic. Through doing what they could in their immediate environment while complying with government recommendations to socially distance, they were able to maintain limited involvement in social and physical activities and contact with the community. The practical implementation of the steps required to build a resilience mindset during a pandemic by our Japanese older adults may have applicability to other socially isolated at-risk persons, and implications for smart aging.



Author Information
Ryan Browne, Tohoku University, Japan
Ye Zhang, Tohoku University, Japan
Takamitsu Shinada, Tohoku University, Japan
Toshimi Ogawa, Tohoku University, Japan
Yasuyuki Taki, Tohoku University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2024
Stream: Loneliness

This paper is part of the AGen2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Browne R., Zhang Y., Shinada T., Ogawa T., & Taki Y. (2024) Social Isolation and Resilience of Japanese Older Adults Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights From a Qualitative Interview Study ISSN: 2432-4183 The Asian Conference on Aging & Gerontology 2024: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4183.2024.16
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4183.2024.16


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Posted by James Alexander Gordon