Impact of social isolation and coping strategies in cognitively impaired older adults



The COVID-19 pandemic imposed a psychological burden on elderly persons and, in particular, on people with cognitive impairment and dementia. In this context, this study explores the experiences of older people with cognitive impairment during the health crisis in Chile, as well as strategies to mitigate the impact of social isolation on this population group.

Dr Claudia Miranda (director of MICARE) was a researcher in the study along with the main researcher Maryan Farhang and the team: María Isabel Behrens, Eduardo Castillo, Sandra Mosquera and Graciela Rojas.

Main findings:

There is evidence that elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have been psychologically and socially affected by the social isolation measures resulting from the pandemic. This resulted in a significant number of negative emotions such as anger, fear of contracting the virus, worries, and sadness.

Since social isolation has been associated with poorer cognition and functionality in people with MCI, it is essential to have a plan to prevent the progression of cognitive impairment and increase social contact.

Hombre mayor con mascarilla, sentado en un sillón