COVID-19 and Life Tomorrow

COVID-19 and Life Tomorrow

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The spread of COVID-19 in the United States in the spring of 2020 abruptly transformed American life, with widespread closures of public spaces and businesses, severe limitations on social activities, and the need for individuals to physically distance from each other. Some changes wrought by the pandemic may persist even after the threat of the virus has subsided - such as Americans' adoption of new technologies or disease prevention behaviors. The MIT AgeLab has sought to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may be affecting peoples' attitudes and behaviors through different methods of research across longevity-related domains.

  • National surveys on COVID-19-related attitudes and behaviors - AgeLab researchers have collected and analyzed data from three national surveys of Americans - the first in March of 2020, the second in June of 2020, and the third in December of 2020 - that asked respondents questions related to domains affected by the pandemic. Issue briefs that have been developed out from the national survey findings explore such pertinent topic as technology adoption and use, financial attitudes and behaviors, work and family life, health and wellbeing, risk assessment and worry, social connection and isolation, and more.
     
  • "Day in the Life" study of MIT AgeLab 85+ Lifestyle Leaders Panel - The MIT AgeLab has conducted an ongoing study focusing on the pandemic experiences of adults ages 85 and over. Utilizing phone interviews and surveys with the MIT AgeLab 85+ Lifestyle Leaders panel, this study has explored the "oldest olds'" pandemic-related risk assessment and mitigation, feelings of social isolation, experiences of living in senior housing, psychological resilience, and more.
     
    • "Day in the Life" publications and conference presentations:
       
      • Miller, J. B., Patskanick, T. R., D’Ambrosio, L. A., & Coughlin, J. F. (2020). Staying Isolated in Order to Stay Safe: Exploring Experiences of the MIT AgeLab 85+ Lifestyle Leaders during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 1-2. Link to publication.
      • Miller, J., D’Ambrosio, L., Balmuth, A., Brady, S., Raue, M., Patskanick, T., Rudnik, J., & Coughlin, J. (2020). Surviving Together by Staying Apart: How Older Adults Experienced the COVID-19 Crisis. Innovation in Aging, 4(Suppl 1), 482. Link to publication.
      • Miller, J, Patskanick, T., D'Ambrosio, L., Raue, M., Balmuth, A., and Coughlin, J.F. (2020). When Social Isolation Might Save Your Life: An MIT AgeLab Study of Living Through the COVID-19 Crisis at Age 85 and Over, Innovation in Aging, Volume 4, Issue Supplement_1, 2020, Pages 482–483 Link to publication.
         
  • Population- and industry-specific research - The AgeLab has also focused its COVID-19 research in domains such as financial advice, family caregiving, and attitudes toward vaccines.
     
    • Industry-specific publications:
       
      • Brady, S., Miller,J., Balmuth, A., Felts, A., Yoquinto, L., D’Ambrosio, L., & Coughlin, J.F. (2020). Navigating Client Relationships During COVID-19. Journal of Financial Planning, 33(8), 44-47. Link to publication.