Week 0: Introduction to COVID-19 and Elderly Mental Health

Mar 30, 2021

Hi everyone!

My name is Brett Gorman and I am a senior at Basis Independent Brooklyn. I have attended Basis since ninth grade and am really excited about pursuing the senior project. Firstly I wanted to welcome you all to my senior project blog, where I will provide updates and insight into my research through the next three months. I am an empathetic person and that contributes to why I chose the question I did. My hobbies include cooking, reading, and running outside. In college, I plan on studying biology with the hopes of going into a career in medicine.

My research question is as follows:

            How has the COVID 19 pandemic affected the mental health of elderly individuals?  How has the environment in which these individuals reside played a role in their mental health?  

The purpose of this study is to discuss the effects of isolation from the pandemic on elderlies mental health. Either living in nursing homes or living at home alone or with their spouse or children. I will also examine how the different regions in the United States contributed to varying mental health outcomes. I chose this question because I witnessed my grandparents display their feelings and uneasiness throughout the pandemic. The senior population is often overseen and assumed to experience similar emotions to those who are younger. While this is partly true, seniors face a different variety of challenges. Such as trouble using technology to stay in touch. COVID-19 completely changed the way of everyday life and I decided to closely look at the mental health impacts. 

I also would like to share some of my personal background surrounding the subject matter. I have three years of volunteer experience with seniors through the organization Visiting Neighbors; My onsite mentor is also apart of this organization. I completed a summer program with Wake Forest University on cardiology and healthcare. I have always been close with my grandparents, and as said before, I am interested in medicine.

In order to conduct my project, I will, conduct research about pandemic effects and practices in nursing homes, and senior living facilities. I have also purchased a book called “Mental Health and the Elderly: A Social Work Perspective” which will assist me with my research. I also will conduct qualitative interviews, and through that, I will gain national perspectives from elderly individuals, caretakers, family, and volunteers. Finally, I will compare independence, climate, and state restrictions on elderly mental health.

I hope you all enjoy keeping up with my project and I look forward to updating this blog weekly.

Thank you,


Attached is the link to my onsite advisor’s organization and some introductory information to my project.




5 Replies to “Week 0: Introduction to COVID-19 and Elderly Mental Health”

  1. Elizabeth C. says:

    The variables that you chose to examine are fascinating. I’m curious to see the interplay between climate, isolation, regionality, and environment.

  2. Asha W. says:

    This looks great Brett! I think your project will serve as a great look into how COVID affects the elderly, an almost diminished group of individuals who most people would often overlook. I’m glad that you’re using your Senior Project to highlight the elderly, as it’s important that they’re given a voice during this pandemic. Good luck!

  3. Liam D. says:

    This is a very interesting research topic, when I think about how COVID-19 impacts mental health I almost exclusively think about teens and young adults. Also, when elderly people are talked about, it is usually about their physical health rather than mental. This is a very interesting and important topic, I can’t wait to see what you find.

  4. Jacob H. says:

    What a significant topic – It’s awesome how you already recognize the complexities of your research and have a very clear plan to address a variety of factors. I love that you are bringing your personal experiences with your family and volunteer work into your project.

  5. Jennifer V. says:

    This is such a wonderful and inspiring topic! I never even thought of elderly mental health in terms of Covid since it’s usually their physical health. So I can’t wait to see what you discover and learn more about!

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