Quotation Richter, Lukas, Heidinger, Theresa. 2020. Caught between two fronts: successful aging in the time of COVID-19. Working with Older People. 24 (4), 273-280.




The COVID-19 pandemic poses a great challenge for older people both in terms of the severity of the disease and the negative consequences of social distancing. Assumptions about negative effects on the lives of the elderly, affecting dimensions of successful aging (such as the preservation of social relationships), have thus far been hypothetical and have lacked empirical evidence. The aim of this paper is to shed empirical light on the effects of COVID-19 on the everyday life of older people against the background of the concept of successful aging. Data of a standardized, representative telephone survey with residents of Lower Austria, a county of Austria, were used for this secondary analysis. The sample included 521 persons of 60 years of age and older. For this paper, contingency analyses (χ² coefficients, z-tests using Bonferroni correction) and unidimensional correlational analyses were calculated.The empirical data show that successful aging along the three dimensions of successful aging is a challenge in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic – leaving the elderly caught between two fronts. The present work focusses on a unique moment in time, describing the changes to the lives of Austrian elderly because of the social distancing measures imposed to protect against the spread of COVID-19. These changes are discussed in the theoretical framework of successful aging.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Working with Older People
Language English
Title Caught between two fronts: successful aging in the time of COVID-19
Volume 24
Number 4
Year 2020
Page from 273
Page to 280
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-06-2020-0031
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-06-2020-0031


Richter, Lukas (Details)
Heidinger, Theresa (Karl Landsteiner Universität, Austria)
Institute for Sociology and Social Research IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
3914 Gerontology (Details)
5405 Empirical social research (Details)
5501 General psychology (Details)
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