I arrived at a recent news meeting with a story idea: With limited time left in their lives, seniors must be sad and frustrated about losing any portion of that remaining time with their family members. The isolation from family surely hurt seniors the most, I said. Seemed logical, right?

Wrong. When we sent out a notice that we were looking for a scholar to write that story, Texas A&M aging expert Marcia Ory told us the opposite was true: In the COVID-19 era, older adults are doing better than younger ones.

“Many older people have redefined their experiences in terms of time left to live… They let go of what they can’t do anything about,” Ory writes. But, she warns, “the uncertainty of knowing when – if – things will return to pre-COVID life is likely to be taking a toll on even the most robust older adults.”

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Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Many older adults are learning new digital skills to help them socialize virtually. Eva-Katalin/Getty Images

Granny’s on Instagram! In the COVID-19 era, older adults see time differently and are doing better than younger people

Marcia G. Ory, Texas A&M University

Older adults – despite their awareness of increased risk of COVID-19 – are not reporting more feelings of anxiety, anger or stress than younger age groups.

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