Young caregiver, senior

A research study from a senior living operator in the United Kingdom shows a narrowing of the generation gap as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New research from McCarthy & Stone, a UK developer and manager of retirement communities, looked at the perception of generations between each other and how this may have shifted during the pandemic.

The online survey was conducted online by Vitreous World among 18- to 59-year-olds (younger generations) and those 60 or more years old (older generations). A total of 1,464 young generation and 536 older generation responses were collected. 

Survey results showed that 60% of both younger and older generations have spent more time speaking with each other since the start of the pandemic, with each group finding comfort and leaning on the other for support. This has led to increased knowledge sharing, with members of younger generations (58%) seeking wisdom from older relatives, neighbors and friends, whereas members of older generations (63%) called on the younger generations’ skills, especially for technology.

And most of these conversations took place over the phone (74%), “bucking the trend of over reliance on text messages and emails.” The research shows both sides want to continue the intergenerational connections.

Key findings:

  • 76% of younger and 80% of older generations said they want to spend more time communicating post-COVID-19.
  • 52% of older and 46% of younger generations sought comfort through increased contact with each other.
  • Younger generations view World War II as the “greatest factor of resilience-building” in the older generations (55%), and they said they respected the older generations for their “keep calm and carry on” mentality (45%).
  • Older generations saw their younger counterparts’ optimism (51%) and courage when facing extreme lockdown measures (42%) as reasons for respect.
  • 59% of younger generations believe the COVID-19 experience will mean society will value the older generation more.

“It’s fantastic to see that the generational gap is declining and, once again, young and old are respecting and actively seeking to learn from one another,” McCarthy & Stone CEO John Tonkiss said. The company plans to launch a Seniors Experts Panel to support the strengthening of connections between the generations through new interactive platforms and initiatives.

In other coronavirus-related news:

  • Presbyterian Village in Dallas is the first continuing care retirement community in the city to receive designation from the county to operate as a COVID-19 unit. It’s a stand-alone building staffed by a nursing team that only treats COVID-19 patients. New patients are transferred directly from hospitals or other facilities. 
  • LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan called the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 “a cause for shame” in response to the president’s statement over the weekend that he directed a slowdown in COVID-19 testing so the numbers wouldn’t look bad.
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced that nearly all of the state’s 700 long-term care facilities have completed the required COVID-19 testing of residents and staff.
  • As recorded cases of COVID-19 in southern Utah crossed the 1,000 mark Saturday, some Washington County officials want to see the state’s color-coded coronavirus restrictions changed or lifted so life can “get back to normal.” But the Utah Department of Health said the county may see stricter guidelines reinstated if case numbers don’t start to go down, pointing to two assisted living communities that developed COVID-19 cases despite strict measures to keep the virus out.
  • Long-term care facilities across Indiana are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Indiana has been collecting daily COVID-19 updates from every long-term care facility — residential, assisted living, nursing and skilled nursing facilities — in the state, but state health officials have not shared the data with the public.
  • New Jersey long-term care facilities can now have outdoor visits with loved ones. The state health department issued a directive that applies to assisted living and memory care communities, comprehensive personal care homes, other long-term care facilities and pediatric transitional care homes.
  • The Templeton, a continuing care retirement community in North Carolina, opened its doors to its first residents in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Despite public health advice, some California assisted living communities still aren’t testing staff for COVID-19.
  • As coronavirus cases spike in Florida and Texas, the state’s Republican governors are attributing the trends to increased testing, outbreaks in high-risk areas, such as assisted living communities and jails, or in Florida’s case, migrant worker communities.
  • Advocates are pushing to safely allow assisted living and nursing home facility visitation to resume in New York state.
  • The South Dakota public health lab has tested more than 18,000 residents and staff in a month-long mass testing event. Supplies for surveillance testing should be shipped to nursing homes — and assisted living facilities that volunteered for the program — in the coming days.
  • Iowa adopts an immunity law to protect long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, denying residents and their loved ones their day in court.
  • A California woman refused to get married without her grandmother, so she brought the wedding to her grandmother.  With special permission from the Cypress Court retirement community in Escondido, CA, the couple exchanged vows in the chapel at Cypress Court.
  • The president of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association delivered a written salute to long-term care facilities as they accommodated visits from friends and family.
  • Lake Gibson Village, an independent and assisted living community in Lakeland, FL, put out the word that residents were looking for pen pals. More than 400 letters, cards and gifts are arriving every day.
  • New York school sends students’ inspirational letters to seniors in assisted living facilities. The special education day school assigned students the task of writing down how they feel about these trying times and what they looked forward to post-COVID-19. The writings were passed to isolated seniors in assisted living facilities.
  • A Wisconsin couple whose wedding plans were sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic made arrangements to marry where the entire family, including the bride’s grandfather, could be together. The couple wed in the garden at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Assisted Living Facility and Memory Care on Father’s Day.