Experiencing the unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown: Abu Dhabi older adults’ challenges and concerns

Masood A. Badri, Mugheer A. Alkhaili, Hamad Aldhaheri, Guang Yang, Muna Albahar, Asma Alrashdi, Bushra Almulla, Layla Alhyas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study focused on older adults (60+ years old) of both genders in Abu Dhabi during the COVID-19 pandemic before vaccines were made available (age ranged from 60 years to 75 years). They faced more strict rules of movement restriction and isolation that might have resulted in certain psychological feelings and social reactions. The main objective was to understand Abu Dhabi older adults’ psychological feelings during the pandemic and to identify their main concerns and challenges considering the various COVID-19-related policies and restrictions. The psychological feelings focused on fear, loneliness, sadness, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depressive symptoms, sleeping disorders, overeating, and excessive screen use. The objectives also included the changes in the psychological feelings concerning time. Other objectives covered better under-standing the differences in (some activities) compared to the other age categories. Data were gathered through an online survey of community members from February to July 2020 as part of government initiatives (Department of Community Development). Responses were collected from 574 older adults in Abu Dhabi (60.1% male and 39.9% female). The analysis mainly used descriptive analysis, t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and simple trend analysis. For all tests, a p-value less than 0.05 was used for significance. The results pointed to the significant rise in feelings related to excessive screen use, fear, loneliness, and stress. The most significant concerns were related to more restrictions being imposed and not being able to see the grandchildren.The impact of new technologies on their quality of life was significantly reflected by respondents. The influence of the pandemic on older adults’ health and weight was also investigated. Analysis of variance, t-tests, and regression analysis with relevant tests were employed. The relevant results showed that some negative psychological feelings were common among older adults during the pandemic. However, the psychological feelings did not portray significant changes with time, except for sleeping disorders and overeating. Overall, older adults scored significantly different from other age groups on many challenges, concerns, and views regarding new technologies during the pandemic. No significant differences were observed regarding gender and marital status for the challenges and concerns. The research summarizes some policy guidance while noting some limitations of this study and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13427
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Abu Dhabi
  • COVID-19
  • Older adults
  • Social isolation
  • Technological challenges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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