A recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology explored older individuals’ feelings of anxiety related to the possibility of dying during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the interview-based study of 18 people aged 65 years and older who had chronic illnesses and were living in Turkey, participants tended to be more afraid of losing their significant others rather than their own lives. Before the pandemic, they typically saw death as a part of life and accepted dying with calmness. The manner by which they might die with COVID‐19 increased their anxiety and they generally hoped for an easy death. Despite the pandemic, they mostly kept their hopes alive for the future and recommended religious and spiritual beliefs.
“The findings of our study revealed a unique aspect of human beings: close relationships with significant others are the most valuable component of our lives, and hope never ends,” said co-author Hatice İrem Özteke Kozan, PhD, of Necmettin Erbakan University. “Participants are mostly afraid of losing their family rather than of dying, but they are also afraid of a painful death. They maintained their hope and recommended to increase spirituality to overcome death anxiety.”