A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that the challenges posed to seniors – many of whom were left sequestered alone in their homes – actually increased the amount of trust they were able to place in themselves and their abilities.

Seasons’s recent article entitled “Pandemic has made seniors more confident about aging in place, study reports” reported on this survey.

In fact, the survey was a part of a larger study, which asked 214 respondents to rate their general self-confidence as well as their confidence in a variety of scenarios—from managing their health to social interactions. This might be confidence in their ability to arrange rides and appointments or seeking support when they need help understanding something.

The researchers from Northwestern University found significant differences between the 66 seniors who responded to the survey before the pandemic and the 148 who answered after.

In fact, pandemic-era respondents not only had higher confidence in general but reported significantly higher confidence in their abilities to manage social interactions.

“Self-doubt is a part of human nature,” the study’s authors wrote. “COVID-19 restrictions forced older adults to experience the loss of in-person human interactions and overcome their self-doubt in managing social interactions. Older adults adapted to the challenges of isolated aging in place and came ahead with higher self-efficacy.”

The news is positive, considering that 77% of older adults want to age in place, according to the AARP. A jump in confidence will be a big help for caregivers who don’t want to see their loved ones institutionalized. Moreover, it opens the door for the necessary planning that will be needed to keep a senior home long-term. This includes installing grab bars and ramps or reconfiguring a two-story house.

Aging in place is good for both seniors and their caregivers. By staying in their homes, older people are able to hold onto more of their independence as they can determine their day-to-day life.

Moving individuals at the end of their life can also have many detrimental effects, including anxiety, depression and loneliness.

For caregivers who are concerned about these aspects, keeping a loved one home can be a big relief with the right support.

Reference: Seasons (Aug. 9, 2022) “Pandemic has made seniors more confident about aging in place, study reports”

Suggested Key Terms: Elder Law Attorney, COVID-19 (coronavirus), Senior Health, Aging in Place