Americans Age 50-Plus Appreciate Family More After COVID-19: AARP Report

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Americans aged 50-plus have developed a greater appreciation for spending time with loved ones. According to a new AARP report, that’s especially true for those who know someone who has been personally impacted by the disease.

The survey found that people are immensely refocusing on strengthening the connections they have with their friends and family. This is especially true for those individuals who saw the negative effects, firsthand, of COVID-19. For example, connections with family largely stayed the same or got stronger earlier on in the pandemic; however, the same cannot be said for connections with friends. On the contrary, connections with friends that shifted became weaker as time went on (particularly for adults aged 50 to 59).

While the pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, it seems that some groups of people are struggling more than others. Women, acculturated Hispanic adults, and those aged 50 to 59 seem to place even more importance on having strong relationships with both family and friends. This is likely due to the fact that these groups are more likely to be caregivers and/or have health concerns that make them vulnerable to the virus.

Furthermore, activities such as trips with family and friends, regularly meeting with family, and regularly meeting with friends are more important to adults aged 50 and up now than they were earlier in the pandemic. This is likely because as we get older, we realize how important our relationships are and how precious time is. So if you know someone in one of these groups, make sure to check in on them and see how they’re doing. They may appreciate it more than you know.

All of this goes to show just the pandemic has forced people to confront the fragility of life in a way that they may never have thought possible. For many, the events of the recent past have been a wake-up call to appreciate the people and things that matter most. In a world that has been turned upside down by COVID-19, we have been reminded of what is truly important: our health, our loved ones, and our relationships.

The pandemic has taken so much from us, but it has also given us the opportunity to refocus our priorities and appreciate the things that we often take for granted. As we move forward into a new era, let us remember the lessons that we have learned over the past year and cherish the relationships that we hold dear.

AARP’s seven-minute online survey was administered in English in June 2022 to 1,985 adults age 50 and older. The data is weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, region and income to their November 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS) data. You can read the full results of the survey here.

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