Isolated Seniors Miss Hugs From Loved Ones More Than Anything Else During COVID-19

NEW YORK — A new survey of American adults aims to answer some questions about how the coronavirus lockdown is taking a toll on people’s emotions. Older adults have been particularly lonely during these long months of isolation, and as it turns out, most seniors want a hug from their loved ones more than anything else.

The survey, conducted on behalf of caregiving company ComfortKeepers, includes responses from 2,000 individuals. Half of the study sample is comprised of people over 65.

Half of the seniors surveyed say they miss the intimacy of hugs from loved ones and friends during the pandemic. Most admit (57%) that they cannot wait to hug a loved one as soon as it is considered safe to do so.

The survey also shows that seniors really miss their freedom (51%), their families (48%), and their old routines (40%).

“The new, isolated world we’ve all had to adjust to has certainly been challenging, particularly for the older generation who often rely on physical contact with friends and loved ones to help them with their daily routines,” says Carl McManus, CEO of Comfort Keepers, North America.

Keeping In Touch Has Never Been Easier — Nor More Necessary

To that point, 91% of all survey participants feels that staying in touch with family and friends has been the key to getting through these long months of isolation. Similarly, 87% say “self-care” has played a big part in bringing them happiness through their days.

Not surprisingly, 72% of respondents admit that technology keeps them from losing their minds while stuck inside. Most participants use their computers for video chats for work or social reasons. The typical  adult takes part in five video chats a week on average — though seniors only participate in three.

And while 78% of people have been talking to friends and family on the phone regularly, 17% are still turning to old-fashioned “snail mail” to stay in touch. Somehow, only 62% say they’re text messaging with loved ones. That number seems low in this day and age, no?

Ready For Return To Normalcy

Some people have specifically been trying to escape from technology. A little less than half of respondents (44%) have been trying to get out into nature a bit more. That same percentage has turned to new books for a quick escape.

“It is encouraging to know that, in spite of the pandemic and new way of life, people are still finding ways to experience and spread joy,” says McManus.

The survey also asks what people are most looking forward to as restrictions are starting to be lifted. More people cannot wait to visit their favorite restaurants (78%) or have a visit with friends (76%). Two in five respondents cannot wait to go on a shopping excursion. One-fifth of respondents really want to grab a drink at their favorite bar.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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