For my research this past week, I focused on researching research statistics on elderly populations and current COVID-19 statistics in the United States. The research on COVID-19 statistics is not concrete, however, as the pandemic is an ever-changing situation. I also spent my time this week furthering my knowledge on elderly mental health through reading, Mental Health And The Elderly: A Social Work Perspective edited by Francis J. Turner.
I can provide the most up-to-date stats. In the United States, there have been 30,68,592 positive Coronavirus cases (Johns Hopkins University). There have also been 554,813 deaths in a year as a result of COVID. Clearly, these statistics prove to be staggering and these numbers continue to climb, as the US is averaging 62,167 new cases a day, an increase of 8.4 percent compared to the previous seven days (CDC).
Additionally, in reading the book Mental Health And The Elderly: A Social Work Perspective, I have gained a lot of new and valuable insight. Some of my findings I will save for the final sharings of my project. I am using this book to understand what elderly mental health is like or supposed to be prior to a pandemic. One of the most important things to realize, that I have learned thus far, in the reading is that elderly mental health cannot be compared to the mental health of those who are below 65. This can be brushed over, and as a result, many elders are not receiving the proper treatment or understanding in regard to their mental health. As people age the book explicitly states, “No one can survive six or more decades of life without experiencing some measure of trouble…financial concerns…one’s or a loved one’s illness, and the death of a close friend or relative”. All of those troubles and more are ones that seniors will or will have already experienced, and can worsen with age. As I conduct my research project, I will have to keep in mind these facts when learning about how mental health and the impacts of isolation on seniors will coincide.
As I have also begun research on senior living arrangements, I learned about the number of seniors in the United States. As of 2019, there were 40.3 million seniors living in the United States according to the CDC. This number becomes valuable to me as I learn more about where and what states seniors are living and how I will approach the interviewing of these seniors. Approximately 12% of the population are above 65 years old, and the COVID-19 deaths for that age group were 80.6% (429,600 deaths) of the total deaths (554,813 deaths). This shows how important the isolation of seniors during the pandemic was.
Next week I will begin to start formulating questions to ask during my interviews with seniors and begin finding people throughout the United States to interview.
Thank you for reading and feel free to ask questions!
Also attached is my senior project proposal