One Year Later – COVID’s Effects on Seniors

This past year has been hard on everyone. You might be feeling like there is a light at the end of the tunnel right about now. The end of the tunnel is not going to look as familiar as you think.

The Coronavirus has changed our world and we truly have a new normal. Routines will feel more relaxed with the vaccine available now, but the world is different. Especially for older adults.

Some parts of life will go back to normal, while others will not. Before the Coronavirus, older adults felt confident that modern medicine would help them live for years. Their vision for the rest of their life has changed. The way modern medicine looks has transformed.

This uncertainty will affect various aspects of a senior’s life. This fuels our mission to do more for the older adults in our community.

Let’s look at some of COVID’s effects on older adults and what this will look like in the years to come.

TeleMed and Changes in Healthcare

Only 62% of people over the age of 75 use the internet. This presents real challenges for these people in the modern age of healthcare. Before the pandemic, there were few seniors seeing doctors over the internet. Post pandemic, some doctors have predicted 1 in 3 visits will still be telemed. Virtual doctor visits will continue to be a routine part of doctors’ offices.

Remote care can be supported by multiple doctors rather than just one doctor. With telemed, it is easier for a patient to have a team of doctors. There is also new technology that will become commonplace in just a few years. Older adults will have devices at home that regularly analyze urine and fecal samples to help avoid the doctor’s office.

Seniors are feeling uncertain about the future of their health. Older adults’ routines for doctor visits and prescriptions look completely foreign.


Ask the senior’s in your life how their doctor’s appointments are going. Offer to help them get online with a doctor. Help them with their technical issues without making them feel silly. For some seniors, they weren’t going to the doctor alone pre-pandemic. The support you can give them with telemed will make a huge difference in their life.

Technology for Social Life

Pre-pandemic, it would seem odd for people to attend a birthday party via Zoom. Technology has been a blessing to make that possible during the pandemic. Going forward, technology will continue to play a big role in the social lives of adults.

Many seniors feel that they have been thrown into a technical world that they were not previously a part of. They spoke to people in person and never needed to fumble with a computer in order to see their grandkids.

For some people this makes them want to just pass on the birthday party. They also are not used to speaking on video calls and conference meetings. They may feel like outsiders looking in.


Take the time to show them how to work virtual meetings. Don’t discourage them from using technology by telling them they are doing it wrong. While on virtual calls, be patient. Give them space to speak and do your best to help them not feel ignored.

Missing Out on Events  

They didn’t miss the party, they just watched it on Zoom. It’s not quite the same effect as sharing moments in person.

This past year older adults have missed weddings, baby showers, holidays with families, and the regular drop-ins of the past. These are things that everybody looks forward to but especially seniors.

As adults get older, they often have fewer social interactions. With the pandemic, this is magnified. Going forward, attending events via Zoom will no longer seem strange. It will become a part of our culture. Buying groceries online will be completely normal. There will continue to be less reason to be places in person.

This can leave seniors feeling like they aren’t getting back some of the sense of purpose that they once had. As the COVID restrictions lift, their routines will not go back to the way that they were.


Make new routines with the seniors in your life. Show them there are beautiful things about the new normal. Spend more time with them outside and talk to them about what they are comfortable doing.

Stress on Caregivers

When someone needs help, a caregiver will rush to help. That is, unless they have any sign of sickness, or if their child is sick, or if they have been around sick people…

Being present with somebody used to be the best thing to do. The pandemic changed that. Now being with someone is not always the most caring thing to do. This makes caregiving complicated and strains relationships.


Some of the pandemic restrictions are being lifted. The culture of getting together with someone, especially an older adult, will continue to have this additional worry. This stress can lead to seniors disengaging. This is why you need to give them plenty of opportunities to interact. Show them that it’s not always hard and complicated. Interacting will get easier the more time we spend with the new normal.

Be a Friend and Support 

As life picks up and you get busy, don’t forget about the older adults in your life. The effects of the pandemic are not over. We continue to move forward with changes every year. Don’t leave older adults to change on their own. Support and friendship go a long way. Do what you can to celebrate the community in our new normal, and include seniors in that community.

In these changing times, DSCC has stepped up our efforts to support older adults. We would love your support and advocacy. If you are not sure where to start, check out our many volunteer opportunities. Donations help us to provide services for seniors to help communities grow with the world’s changes.

Start Today!

Older Americans Month is the perfect time to jump in and start growing with seniors.

Sign up to volunteer for one of our many services and be a part of our mission to help seniors in DuPage County. Donations help us to provide these services.

After this past year of the pandemic, older adults need our services more than ever. With many seniors experiencing increased isolation and distance from loved ones, now is the time for genuine connection with seniors in the community.

For more information on donating or volunteering with KSC, please contact us!


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