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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-108

Resilience amongst the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, India
2 Post Basic B.Sc Nursing Student, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, India
3 Professor & Head, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, India

Date of Submission11-Aug-2021
Date of Decision14-May-2022
Date of Acceptance17-May-2022
Date of Web Publication05-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Rogina J. S Savarimuthu
Department of Mental Health Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcn.ijcn_78_21

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Many old people live with challenges, poor health and hardship in their life. In spite of the crisis and losses, they tend to experience low impact as compared to the general population, which may be accounted to their resilience. Resilience is achieving the same level of functional ability as such of the pre-crisis state. A study was conducted online to assess resilience amongst the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in a selected rural community area, Chengalpattu district, Tamil Nadu, India. A descriptive research design was used. The sample size was 67. Convenient sampling technique was adopted. The demographic profile and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale-25 were used as data collection instruments. Many older people showed moderate levels of resilience, and the mean score was 57.86. Gender and educational status and family income were significantly associated with resilience.

Keywords: COVID, elderly, resilience

How to cite this article:
Metha J, Kumari T P, Meenakshi P, Savarimuthu RJ. Resilience amongst the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn 2022;23:106-8

How to cite this URL:
Metha J, Kumari T P, Meenakshi P, Savarimuthu RJ. Resilience amongst the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 7];23:106-8. Available from: https://www.ijcne.org/text.asp?2022/23/1/106/349826

  Introduction Top

Growth and advancement in age is inevitable. During old age, individuals find fulfilment in their accomplishments of earlier years of life. The life experiences have a tendency to mould the elderly with coping with life situations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a fluctuating course. The elderly are stressed with their typical stressors associated with age such as retirement stress, being dependent on their pension or family members for financial benefits, comorbid health issues and loss of family members and friends to death. The pandemic with COVID-19 is an add-on. The varied restrictions and relaxations during lockdown, newer variants discovered, the unavailability of a definite treatment and vaccine, monitory cut down in the family, mortality and morbidity of loved ones far and near, 24 × 7 updates on the COVID-19 pandemic status, physical illness, sleep disorders and chronic health conditions, all influence the pre-existing coping ability. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a novel crisis which the elderly have to cope with.[1]

Resilience is the individual's ability to return to pre-crisis functional level following a crisis situation.[2] COVID-19 pandemic has become a crisis for every individual living on face of the earth during the 21st century. Resilience amongst the elderly is typical and is influenced by the long experience they have undergone through their entire life till now. The hardships in life have taught different coping strategies for the elderly. The elderly experienced stressed due to restrictions with social interactions, activities causing loneliness, isolation, concern for others wellbeing, fear about the unknown future and fear of getting infected. However, relationship with family members and friends and their hobbies brought joy for some in the midst of the stress due to the pandemic.[3] From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is mutating into unpredicted variants and a definitive treatment has not been found so far. The incidence and prevalence of the pandemic was fluctuating each day and through each wave. Resilience is an influenced sense of control over the situation. When considering the COVID-19 pandemic, still there is a lacuna in its control. This is a major concern for the elderly that may interfere with their resilience. Studies have shown stronger resilience amongst men. Women were reported to focus on the negative aspects of events leading to further distress.[4] During the pandemic, the different ways to maintain the social connectivity such as maintaining social relationships through the use of gadgets (phone calls, video calls, online chats, E-mails, etc.) aid the elderly in maintaining resilience.[1],[5],[6] There are less research studies reported on resilience amongst the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.


  • To assess the resilience amongst the elderly
  • To associate the resilience with selected demographic variables amongst the elderly.

  Methodology Top

A quantitative descriptive research design was used. The research was conducted amongst the elderly in a selected rural community area, Chengalpattu district, Tamil Nadu, India, who had access to android mobile phones and who responded to the e-survey. Convenient sampling technique was adopted. Web-based link was created on Google Forms and shared through WhatsApp application. The sample size was calculated as 67 with a power of 80 and with a confidence interval of 95%.


Measurement tools utilised were the demographic profile and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-25).[7] The CD-RISC-25 is a standardised questionnaire to assess the level of resilience amongst the elderly. Five factors are covered in CD-RISC-25. High standards, tenacity and competence comprise the first factor. The second factor covers handling negative emotions, trusting one's instincts and perceived benefits of stress. The third factor focuses on positive attitude to change and secure relationships. Perceived control is the fourth factor, and the fifth factor is spirituality. It consists of 25 questions scored over five-point Likert scale (not true at all = 0, rarely true = 1, sometimes true = 2, often true = 3 and true nearly all of the time = 4). The total score can range between 0 and 100. High scores indicate high level of resilience. The total score was classified as low, moderate and high levels of resilience (0–33, 34–66 and 67–100, respectively).

  Results Top

Majority (84%) of the respondents were between 60 and 70 years of age, women (58%), from nuclear families (66%), married (97%), literate (61%), followed Hindu religion (76%), had two children (54%) and had a family income between Rs. 5,000/- and Rs. 15,000/- per month (86%). Majority (52%) of the participants expressed moderate level of resilience. Least (18%) of them reported low level of resilience [Table 1].
Table 1: Resilience level of subjects

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Majority of the participants reported moderate level (52%) or high level (30%) of resilience irrespective of age, gender, type of family, being married, educational status, religion, number of children and family income.

Within those who were never married, an equal proportion reported low and high levels of resilience, but none reported a moderate level of resilience. Educational status was significantly associated with resilience (P = 0.011) [Table 2].
Table 2: Association of resilience with selected demographic variables amongst the elderly

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  Discussion Top

In this study, it was found that the older adults reported moderate or average levels of resilience. It has been already observed and suggested that older adults have better resilience than younger population as far as mental health during pandemic is concerned.[8] With the emergence of the pandemic, majority of the individuals migrated from place of work to hometown. Majority of the working population were working from home due to lockdown. Hence, the elderly would have reunited with their children's families. Moreover, their children would have aided them with meeting their everyday needs. This concept might have contributed for majority of the participants to have moderate level of resilience as family has been positively contributing their happiness during lockdown.[9] Majority of the participants were females. Females tend to focus more on the negative aspects and tend to further increase stress to a distressing situation. Males have been taught from younger age to fight against all odds for success and never to shed tears nor openly show emotions but work for the betterment of the family. This over time becomes inculcated in their behaviour and lifestyle. This gender variation would have contributed to the significance in association between resilience and gender. Similar gender variation has been already reported in the literature.[4]

Individual with no formal education might only be exposed to the broadcasted news through television or radio and through word of mouth. However, an educated individual would search all means to find answer to his/her curiosity. The pandemic curiosity loads an individual with more frustration owning to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic. This phenomenon would have contributed to the association of educational status with resilience.

The COVID-19 is just a few years old pandemic and the world is struggling to overcome. Irrespective of age group or ethnicity, everyone alive is negatively influenced by it. The souring death rates with each wave, the constant mortality and morbidity news, the fluctuating incidence and prevalence rates add on to the existing elderly stressors. Old age is a special phase of life with specific needs when there is overall slowing of body functioning, especially the cognitive domain, loss of spouse and chronic illnesses. When caring for the elderly, the known needs of old age along with the demands of coping with the pandemic should be addressed to aid them in achieving resilience. Family-centred approach will be apt to aid the elderly in achieving resilience.[10]

  Conclusion Top

Resilience is vital to overcome any hardships related to life course events. This study has shown that majority of the older adults have satisfactory or moderate levels of resilience, showing that they have generally coped well with the pandemic and lockdown. Further studies on factors that may improve their resilience within the context of failing health or social conditions may aid in developing specific resilience enhancing interventions.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Savarimuthu RJ, Preetha A, Petrishya DP, Praveen L, Kumar KP, Iswariya M. Quality of life amongst general public during COVID-19 lockdown, Tamil Nadu, India. Indian J Contin Nurs Educ 2021;22:93-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
Windle G, Woods RT, Markland DA. Living with ill-health in older age: The role of a resilient personality. J Happiness Stud 2010;11:763-77.  Back to cited text no. 2
Heid AR, Cartwright F, Wilson-Genderson M, Pruchno R. Challenges experienced by older people during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gerontologist 2021;61:48-58.  Back to cited text no. 3
Xiao X, Xiao J, Yao J, Chen Y, Saligan L, Reynolds NR, et al. The role of resilience and gender in relation to infectious-disease-specific health literacy and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2020;16:3011-21.  Back to cited text no. 4
Hamm ME, Brown PJ, Karp JF, Lenard E, Cameron F, Dawdani A, et al. Experiences of American older adults with pre-existing depression during the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic: A multicity, mixed-methods study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2020;28:924-32.  Back to cited text no. 5
Chen LK. Older adults and COVID-19 pandemic: Resilience matters. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2020;89:104124.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gucciardi DF, Jackson B, Coulter TJ, Mallett CJ. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC): Dimensionality and age-related measurement invariance with Australian cricketers. Psychol Sport Exerc 2011;12:423-33.  Back to cited text no. 7
Vahia IV, Jeste DV, Reynolds CF 3rd. Older adults and the mental health effects of COVID-19. JAMA 2020;324:2253-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
Veer IM, Riepenhausen A, Zerban M, Wackerhagen C, Puhlmann LM, Engen H, et al. Psycho-social factors associated with mental resilience in the corona lockdown. Transl Psychiatry 2021;11:67.  Back to cited text no. 9
Akila K, Divya R, Preethianushya M, Aravindhan B, Rogina JS. Assessment of cognitive impairment among elderly in the selected rural community, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu. Journal of Public Health and Research 2020;11:324.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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