Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2021 , Vol 24, Issue 4
PERCEPTIONS AND EXPERIENCES OF OLDER PEOPLE REGARDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC PROCESS: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY
Yeliz AKKUŞ1, Ayşe Gül PARLAK2, Yasemin KARACAN3, Gülnaz KARATAY4
1Kafkas University, Health Science Faculty Nursing Department, Kars, Turkey
2Kafkas University , Vocational Health School, Kars, Turkey
3Uludağ University , Health Science Faculty Nursing Department, Bursa, Turkey
4Munzur University, Health Science Faculty Nursing Department, Tunceli, Turkey
DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2021.252 Introduction: From the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in 2020 to the present, older people have been the worst affected among all age groups. This study was conducted to examine thoroughly the perceptions and experiences of older people regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

Materials and Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using a semistructured, in-depth interview method with 16 older people living in the east of Turkey. The interviews were conducted through the mobile application WhatsApp, as the older people were in the risk group for infection. The sample group was reached using the snowball method. When the data obtained from the participants reached the saturation level, two more interviews were conducted, and then the interviews were ended. After the recorded interviews were transcribed, they were subjected to conventional content analysis.

Results: Four main themes emerged from the interviews in line with the purpose of this study. These themes are The Meaning of COVID-19, Outcomes of COVID-19, Need for Support and Resources, and Attitudes toward Vaccination.

Conclusion: It was determined that the older people experienced fear during the COVID-19 pandemic; the social restrictions affected them psychologically, physiologically, and economically and they could not get enough support and felt lonely in this process; but nevertheless, they were hopeful about the vaccine. To address these findings, this study suggested support for home care of older people and the development of psychosocial and economic support programs for them. Keywords : Geriatrics; COVID-19; Pandemics; Mental Health