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COVID-19 brought about social distancing mandates that posed as a new barrier to meaningful social participation in the community. The purpose of this project was to understand the impact of social distancing on older adults and senior organizations to better inform the role of OT in helping seniors adapt towards a new normal within the community. A qualitative study and needs assessment were performed through phone interviews with seniors and organizations that support them from around the United States. Themes highlighted seniors desire for social contact and cautious return to the community once mandates are lifted. Both seniors and organizations were accepting towards a new normal.

Publication Date

Summer 8-19-2020


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


San Marcos, CA


occupational therapy, COVID-19, older adults, seniors, senior organizations, impact of social distancing, adaptation, new normal, experiences of older adults

Medical Subject Headings

COVID-19, Aged, Social Participation, Social Behavior, Occupational Therapy, Needs Assessment


Geriatrics | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Summer 2020 Campus Research Day on the San Marcos, CA, campus of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on August 19, 2020.

Understanding the Impact of Social Distancing on Older Adults and Senior Organizations to Better Adapt Towards a New Normal