Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on the Activity and Mental Health of Older People in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study
2.1. Study Design
2.2. Recruitment of Participants and Data Collection
2.3. Data Analysis
3.1. Individual and Social Activities of Older Adults Prior to the COVID-19 Outbreak
“I always try to do as active as I can. Activities that I did before the COVID-19 outbreak were catering, visiting neighbours, and visiting children and grandchildren. Sometimes my children and grandchildren and I go to recreational places. I did all these activities to keep myself active and strong physically. I think that if I am physically active then the blood circulation in my body would be smooth, my immune system would be good and I might not get sick easily”.(Female, 73 years old)
“I was actively involved in social activities in our group and community before the COVID-19 outbreak. Doing small things together and for others made me feel useful. Also, serving and talking to people at the church are good things to do, I was at the church every week before COVID came …”.(Female, 60 years old)
I try to fill my life with good things, that is why I was involved in community prayer, visiting pilgrimaging spiritual places, and helping others. These are things that show how valuable you are to other people …”.(Male, 75 years old)
“I think older people like me should keep themselves busy with various activities and connect with other people within their communities or groups. Before the spread of COVID-19, I was involved in various social activities at the group, neighbourhood, and community levels. I was also very active in the church and helped minister the Sunday services. So, every week I always had something to do. These were not meaningless activities. These activities made me feel happy and I was not stuck at home. Doing these activities regularly helped me avoid negative thoughts, stress, or anxiety. Older people like me sometimes have the thoughts that they would die soon or are not physically strong anymore and are vulnerable to many health problems. I don’t want such thoughts to go through my head and scare me, that’s why I was involved in various activities”.(Female, 60 years old)
3.2. The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Mandatory Lockdown Protocols on the Activities of Older Adults
“I am personally scared of contracting corona, that is why I just stayed at home for more than a year. I am still scared but now I go out to supermarkets sometimes. The government put the COVID-19′s prevention protocols into practice when the number of cases was rising, and as an older person, I must obey these protocols because I am much more vulnerable to the infection and the impacts could be severe if I am infected”.(Male, 62 years old)
“I did not work at all for one year and a few months because it seemed that people were scared of travelling using a motorbike taxi. People were scared of contracting COVID-19… Even now people are still scared of going with a motor taxi, scared of sitting close to the driver on a motorbike”.(Male, 61 years old)
“When COVID-19 pandemic’s mandatory lockdown protocols were put in place, activities such as group prayers and community meetings were cancelled. The pilgrimage activities that we did regularly have also been cancelled until now due to the COVID-19 protocols”.(Female, 71 years old)
“In our community, there were social gatherings for parents and older people and we sometimes went to picnics together. Since the COVID-19 outbreak and due to the enforcement of lockdown protocols we have stopped social gatherings and picnics until now. Moreover, the information I heard was that older people like me are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and if they contract it then the consequences can be fatal, so these social activities have been cancelled until now”.(Male, 69 years old)
“The enforcement of COVID-19’s mandatory lockdown protocols disconnects me from my friends. As an old person, I think it is bad to get disconnected from people my age. I need people my age, my friends to talk to because we understand each other …”.
3.3. The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Mandatory Lockdown Protocols on the Mental Health of Older Adults
3.3.1. Feelings of Loneliness and Social Disconnection
“I have been spending most of the time alone at home during this COVID-19 outbreak. I hardly go out of my house; the mandatory protocols are clear and I also am scared of this COVID. One of my children lives with me but he goes to work every day”.
“This COVID-19 situation has been the worst experience in my life. I live alone, I am on my own, you can imagine. There are times I felt so lonely. Before the COVID-19 outbreak started and the enforcement of mandatory lockdown protocols, I could go anywhere at any time I wanted because I am retired. …. I don’t like this situation at all”.(Male, 69 years old)
“One of the things that makes me feel very bored is doing the same things every day in my house. …. My movements are mainly inside the house and this has been going on for quite a while. It feels like I am being imprisoned in my own house”.(Female, 74 years old)
“Before the COVID-19 outbreak and the enforcement lockdown protocols, I was always with my friends, Bajaj drivers. We always wait for passengers together at the same spot but since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and then the government put the lockdown protocols in place, we didn’t meet each other. …. I feel that there is a big and sudden change, we are disconnected with each other up to now”.(Male, 69 years old)
“I have some close friends, we often meet either during community activities or at church. We also often go together. But due to COVID-19 lockdown protocols, we have not met each other in person..... There is a sense of loneliness and boredom because this situation has been going on for quite a long time, more than two years”.(Female, 76 years old)
3.3.2. Feelings of Loss
“I feel like something has been missing in my life. It is probably because I do not do any more things (catering and Sunday service at the church) that I regularly did before the mandatory lockdown protocols take effect. I stopped since the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak”.
“I have experienced the loss of people who I knew and were close to me during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been some of my friends and relatives who died but I couldn’t attend their funerals because of the COVID-19 protocols. …. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, we met every week, shared stories, prayed together, and so on but we lost contact with each other during the pandemic. I feel lost”.(Female, 71 years old)
“I lost two family members due to COVID-19 infection; one was my relative who was the same age as me and another one was my nephew who was still young. The sad thing was that I couldn’t go to see them or attend their funerals. Their bodies and funerals were taken care of or handled by health workers or people who have been trained”.(69 years old)
3.3.3. Feeling Stressed, Worried, Sad, and Broken
“…. New COVID cases are always reported on TV or radio and this makes me feel worried. I feel like the situation compels me to do things not in the usual ways; wearing a facemask, social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and so on. These stress me out. If I went out and met people, I became worried about contracting COVID and then I couldn’t sleep during the night”.(Male, 67 years old)
“I used to do small catering for a few years before the COVID-19 outbreak. My regular customer was XX church. I did the catering for most of the events at the church but since the COVID-19 outbreak and the enforcement of the mandatory lockdown protocols, there were no Sunday mass and meetings. All activities at the church stopped to comply with COVID-19 protocols. It influences me financially up to now and I feel sad and a bit broke because it is very difficult to provide for myself and the needs of my family”.
“Since COVID-19’s mandatory lockdown protocols were put in place I stopped driving Bajaj because there were no passengers. Sadly, I had to quit the job, and even more sad is the fact that sometimes I could not have enough money to feel secure enough and fulfill the needs of my family”.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Characteristics||No = 24|
|Junior high school||6|
|Senior high school||10|
|Drivers (motorbike taxi and bajaj)||2|
|Self-employed (catering and culinary business)||2|
|Living with spouse, children and grandchildren||16|
|Living alone with a spouse||3|
|Living alone with a brother or sister||2|
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Fauk, N.K.; Ernawati; Dent, E.; Asa, G.A.; Ward, P.R. Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on the Activity and Mental Health of Older People in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 13115. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013115
Fauk NK, Ernawati, Dent E, Asa GA, Ward PR. Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on the Activity and Mental Health of Older People in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(20):13115. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013115Chicago/Turabian Style
Fauk, Nelsensius Klau, Ernawati, Elsa Dent, Gregorius Abanit Asa, and Paul Russell Ward. 2022. "Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on the Activity and Mental Health of Older People in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 20: 13115. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013115