AgeLab Presents Plethora of Papers at GSA 2021 Annual Meeting

by Adam Felts

MIT AgeLab researchers participated in four sessions at the [2021 Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting](file:///C:/Users/dambrosi/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/X4XR0SJH/gsa2021.org), presenting research on aging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the experiences of caregivers, and changing demographics.

Two AgeLab-led sessions focused on research related to multigenerational experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of the two sessions, titled “Understanding the Abnormal Today for Life Tomorrow: A Study of the Generations During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” featured presentations about the impact of COVID-19 on technology adoption and use, caregiving, and longevity planning. Another presentation also examined the relationship between health and wellbeing and willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This session featured presentations by Technical Associate Taylor Patskanick, Research Scientist Julie Miller, Technical Associate Lexi Balmuth, and Research Scientist Chaiwoo Lee, with Research Scientist Lisa D’Ambrosio as discussant.

A second AgeLab session on the pandemic collected and presented research from the 85+ Lifestyle Leaders Panel. Titled “Experiencing the COVID-19 Pandemic at Age 85 and Over: An MIT AgeLab Study With the 85+ Lifestyle Leaders Panel,” the session examined findings related to the Lifestyle Leaders’ mental health and resilience, their adoption of telehealth technology, their accounts of living in senior housing, and their experiences of social isolation and multigenerational relationships amid the pandemic. This session featured presentations by Julie Miller, Taylor Patskanick, former AgeLab researcher John Rudnik, and former AgeLab college intern Kathryn Chan. Lisa D’Ambrosio moderated the panel.

Julie Miller also gave a conference paper presentation as part of a session on diversity and aging on how changing demographics—including an aging population, changing family structures, and increasing racial diversity—are impacting consumer values and behaviors across the lifespan.

Finally, the AgeLab organized a conference session that revealed findings from the CareHive caregiving research consortium. Titled “Caregiving through Turbulent Times: Findings from the MIT AgeLab’s Longitudinal Study of Family Caregivers,” the session covered research related to the language caregivers use to describe caregiving and the emotions they associate with it, the experiences of caregivers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and caregivers’ use of technology to support their caregiving. This session featured presentations by Lexi Balmuth, Chaiwoo Lee, and Lisa D’Ambrosio, with Julie Miller as panel moderator.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. He conducts research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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