2021-04-30Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/7857
Older people at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping review
This scoping review focuses on evidence gaps regarding the effects on health, social participation and life contexts of older people at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on a systematic search strategy of the international literature covering a period between December 2019 and June 2020. The review is supplemented by a search of the websites of selected organisations in Germany (cut-off date: 29 June 2020). Search hits were differentiated by types of publication (empirical study, review, discussion paper). The contents were summarised in tabular form according to topic. The publications mainly discussed the high risks of suffering severe courses of COVID-19 faced by older people, specifically those belonging to certain subgroups. In addition, further main topics were the pandemic’s indirect impacts on physical and mental health, physical and cognitive functions and participation in society. Social isolation, loneliness, reduced levels of physical activity and difficulties in maintaining care were discussed as major health risks. Ageism was an issue that was addressed across all of the identified topics. The publications highlighted the need, but also the opportunity, for raising public awareness of the needs of older people in various life contexts. Publications pointed to the urgent need for research into the biological and social causes of older peoples’ high infection risk and how measures could be adapted in a differentiated manner (infection prevention and control measures, social support, medical and nursing care).
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