HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION AND THE RESILIENCE OF OLDER ADULTS AGING IN COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19

TitleHOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION AND THE RESILIENCE OF OLDER ADULTS AGING IN COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsScheckler, S, Molinsky, J, Herbert, C
JournalInnovation in Aging
Volume6
Pagination280-280
Date Published12
KeywordsAging, household composition, Older Adults
Abstract

Household composition is associated with older residents’ access to resources. This research uses
the pandemic period as a stress-test to detect differences in resilience between older adults who
lived alone, with a partner, or with other co-residents. Using the Health and Retirement Study
(HRS) from 2010 through 2018, we first developed a profile of pre-pandemic needs and resources
for each household composition. Using the 2020 HRS survey wave, we then compared pandemicperiod experiences between the three household types. Older adults living in partner households
had more economic resources prior to the pandemic and experienced the fewest disruptions to their
finances and personal assistance compared with other types. Older adults living alone entered the
pandemic with the least financial resources and personal assistance, particularly in the context of
need. These residents also lost more assistance and experienced more loneliness during the
pandemic. Co-resident households received the most informal personal care support, which
remained relatively stable during the pandemic. They had more economic resources than singleperson households prior to the pandemic but experienced more pandemic-related financial
hardships than other types. Household composition was systematically related to resilience during
the pandemic, and Social Security policy might increase the capacity of older adults living alone
to cope with large-scale disruptions.

DOI10.1093/geroni/igac059.1112
Citation Keyarticle