Augustsson E, Von Saenger I, Agahi N, Kåreholt I, Ericsson M
Scand J Public Health 51 (5) 764-768 [2023-07-00; online 2023-05-07]
This study aimed to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle and social activities among older adults in Sweden, with a special focus on differences between the 'younger old' (aged 77-84) and 'older old' (aged 85-109). This study is based on a nationally representative sample of older adults (aged ⩾77 years) in Sweden (SWEOLD). Data were collected between May 2021 and April 2022, when many recommendations were removed but the virus was still classified as a public health disease. We studied occurrences and differences between the two age groups in several lifestyle factors and social activities. The younger old displayed larger changes in lifestyles because of the pandemic than the older old. Most changes were found in social interactions with family. Our results highlight the large heterogeneity within the Swedish population aged ⩾77 years, and that the younger old experienced a bigger lifestyle change than the older old. Previous activity levels might be important to consider in order to understand how regulations may affect the older population. Finally, our findings indicate large age differences in Internet use, which require attention to prevent digital exclusion of an already vulnerable group.