We all know that Baby Boomers and seniors have had an incredibly challenging time during this pandemic. Older generations have shown particular resilience through this time, with many not being able to see friends and family for months. All in the name of rightly protecting their health. With Government and media messaging telling seniors they are the most vulnerable group, their determination to power through this challenge has been apparent across the world.A representative group of 1,409 Baby Boomers and seniors from the USA and Canada were polled on behalf of Amica Senior Lifestyles, using Amazon’s online survey platform, Mechanical Turk. Survey responses were fielded in September and October 2020. They were asked a variety of questions relating to their lifestyle changes during and after the global pandemic. The age breakdown of our survey sample was as follows:
The source article is fairly long so I’ve provided the Table of Contents clickable links. I hope they work. Technology adaptation is tougher for the older ones. Did you know my smartphone has a CAMERA?
- 3 in 5 Baby Boomers felt no change, or less connected to their loved ones
- Video calls were used by 72% of older generations
- Older generations used a range of video calling software
- Technology habits have changed greatly
- Netflix and Disney+ help seniors to embrace nostalgia
- Seniors are getting family support with new technology
- 2 in 5 are discovering their smartphone camera
- Spirituality and mental health is now more important to seniors
- Almost half have been online shopping more
- 35% have been introduced to online banking
- Older generations have been keeping themselves busy with new hobbies
- 3 in 5 more inclined to try bucket list experiences
- Almost a third trying plant-based food due to lockdown
- Older generations are getting more active
Age is a risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 infections.
Elderly men have increased mortality compared to elderly women.
Elderly patients can present differently. Delirium can be the primary symptom of COVID-19 infection, as can persistent hypoxia.
Consider COVID-19 in the setting of altered mental status and geriatric falls.
Elderly patients in the ED who live in nursing homes should undergo COVID-19 testing.
Elderly individuals with COVID-19 tend to have increased lesions and lobar involvement on chest CT.
Laboratory diagnostics may differ based on age, and the geriatric population may have lymphopenia, higher CRP values, and increased D-dimer on testing.COVID-19 in the Elderly — http://www.emdocs.net/covid-19-in-the-elderly/?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-in-the-elderly
The full article takes some time to read but it’s well worth it if you are into the clinical stuff.
Older adults who live with younger people, including those of working age, are at increased risk for COVID-19 mortality, according to a study in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.
Using Swedish population and death registries, researchers studied nearly 275,000 adults aged 70 or older in Stockholm. Roughly 3400 died between March and May 2020, 38% from COVID-19.
Those who lived with at least one person younger than 66 years had a 60% increased risk for COVID-19 death relative to those living with older people. In addition, those living in the most densely populated neighborhoods had a 70% higher risk than those in the least densely populated areas, and those living in care homes had over four times the risk of those in independent housing.NEJM Journal Watch — https://www.jwatch.org/fw117174/2020/10/27/older-adults-living-with-younger-people-face-increased
Check out the recent Time article for an excellent overview of the Swedish Covid-19 response:
The Swedish way has yielded little but death and misery. And, this situation has not been honestly portrayed to the Swedish people or to the rest of the world.The Swedish COVID-19 Response Is a Disaster. — https://time.com/5899432/sweden-coronovirus-disaster/
Of these 1,567 participants, 400 were assigned to two weekly sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT), 387 were assigned to moderate intensity continuous training (MICT), and 780 to follow the Norwegian guidelines for physical activity (control group), all for five years.
After five years, the overall mortality rate was 4.6% (72 participants).
The researchers found no difference in all cause mortality between the control group (4.7%, 37 participants) and combined HIIT and MICT group (4.5%, 35 participants).
They also found no differences in cardiovascular disease or cancer between the control group and the combined HIIT and MICT group.BMJ. “Exercise intensity not linked to mortality risk in older adults, finds trial.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201007193656.htm (accessed October 8, 2020). — https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201007193656.htm
Finally some scientific justification for my lack of exercise.
Hundreds of Finlanders aged 75-80 were given a battery of physical and cognitive tests 30 years ago. The same tests were recently repeated, in 2017-2018, with Finlanders aged 75-80. The modern group showed substantial differences:
walking speeds .2-.4 meters per second faster
grip strengths 5%-25% stronger
knee extension strengths 20%-47% higher
better verbal fluency, reasoning, and working memory
This means that the modern group moves and thinks “younger.” “Performance measurements reflect one’s functional age,” says lead author Taina Rantanen, professor of gerontology and public health at the University of Jyväskylä.Today’s Older People Really are Younger — https://www.fastcompany.com/90554646/todays-older-people-really-are-younger-than-in-previous-generations
You can access the study abstract here: https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/gerona/glaa224/5901594?redirectedFrom=fulltext
And if you’re Covid obsessed like I am here you go:
I would not extrapolate the older age study findings to the general population. Clearly there are cultural, societal, dietary, climate and other differences in Finland that do not exist elsewhere. But at my age I’ll take good news about getting older anywhere I can find it.
Finland is different. They developed a real interesting rapid Covid-19 test.
Four Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.‘Close to 100% accuracy’: Helsinki airport uses sniffer dogs to detect Covid — https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/24/close-to-100-accuracy-airport-enlists-sniffer-dogs-to-test-for-covid-19
“With a lot of conditions, older adults don’t present in a typical way, and we’re seeing that with COVID-19 as well,” said Dr. Camille Vaughan, section chief of geriatrics and gerontology at Emory University.
Instead, seniors may seem “off” — not acting like themselves ― early on after being infected by the coronavirus. They may sleep more than usual or stop eating. They may seem unusually apathetic or confused, losing orientation to their surroundings. They may become dizzy and fall. Sometimes, seniors stop speaking or simply collapse.
“Before COVID-19, baby boomers” — those born after 1945 but before 1965 — “felt reassured that with all the benefits of modern medicine, they could live for years and years,” said Dr. Mehrdad Ayati, who teaches geriatric medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and advises the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. “What we never calculated was that a pandemic could totally change the dialogue.”
The skeptic in me was in complete denial until I got halfway through the list of predictions.
Hell, I’m already doing most of the things on this list now.
What is already known about this topic?
Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults aged ≥65 years, who in 2014 experienced an estimated 29 million falls, resulting in 7 million fall-related injuries.
What is added by this report?
In 2018, 27.5% of adults aged ≥65 years reported at least one fall in the past year (35.6 million falls) and 10.2% reported a fall-related injury (8.4 million fall-related injuries). From 2012 to 2016, the percentages of these adults reporting a fall increased, and from 2016 to 2018, the percentages decreased.
Citation for this article: Moreland B, Kakara R, Henry A. Trends in Nonfatal Falls and Fall-Related Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2012–2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:875–881. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6927a5external icon.