Samantha PHD (1)

Interactive Photo Exhibit Showcases Older Adult Pandemic Experiences

In March 2020, the world was halted by COVID-19. Everyone’s lives and social relationships were disrupted. At the onset of the pandemic, we knew little about how physical distancing would impact the social connectedness and loneliness experiences of older adults.

The Active Aging Research Team (AART) partnered with the West End Seniors’ Network to learn about older adults’ experiences during the pandemic and beyond.

In April 2020, AART member, UBC PhD Candidate Callista Ottoni asked participants to take photographs of moments where they felt connected or isolated in their homes and neighbourhoods. Two and a half years later, she co-curated an interactive photo exhibit to share their experiences publicly. The photos highlight feelings of isolation and overwhelm, but also strength, resilience and deepened friendships.

Attendees of the exhibit were asked to share how they are doing currently, and what helps them feel connected. The event raised awareness about how people still face challenges to regain or maintain social connections. Social connectedness is important for health and well-being in later life.

Read more about the research findings in Callista’s recently published research.

The exhibition took place September 29 - October 12, 2022 at the Barclay Manor in Vancouver's West End.

Images from the launch event of the exhibit

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