Resilience among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: A photovoice study

Date

2023

Authors

Karmann, Julie
Handlovsky, Ingrid
Lu, Sonia
Moullec, Gregory
Frohlich, Katherine L.
Ferlatte, Olivier

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

SSM - Qualitative Research in Health

Abstract

Older adults faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic but also demonstrated great resilience. Investigating these strengths may enhance and inform strategies to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. To gain insight into the resilience processes of older adults during the first year of the pandemic, we conducted a photovoice study with 26 older adults (aged over 60) in the province of Quebec, Canada. Participants met online weekly for three weeks in small groups to discuss their photographs and share their resilience strategies. The thematic analysis revealed three interrelated themes. First, participants distanced themselves from the pandemic by engaging in activities that took their focus away from COVID-19 and that afforded much-needed respite. Second, participants regained their bearings by reorganizing their schedules and establishing new routines that bolstered occupation rather than rumination. Third, participants used the pandemic to self-reflect and revise their priorities, leveraging the pandemic as an opportunity for growth. Together, these themes demonstrate the strengths, coping strategies and resilience of older adults and contrast the stereotypes of older adults as vulnerable and resourceless. These findings have the potential to inform the implementation of strength-based health promotion initiatives to mitigate the harms of the pandemic.

Description

Keywords

Resilience, Older adults, COVID-19, Photovoice

Citation

Karmann, J., Handlovsky, I., Lu, S., Moullec, G., Frohlich, K. L., & Ferlatte, O. (2023). Resilience among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: A photovoice study. SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, 3, 100256. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2023.100256