Walgreens Study Finds Seniors Less Socially Active After Pandemic

‘COVID-19 Pulse Check’ notes that Black consumers 55 and up feel particularly isolated
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Walgreens offers seniors and other consumers a simple process for scheduling vaccine appointments by phone or app, as well as online.

According to the “Walgreens COVID-19 Pulse Check,” many senior citizens still worry about getting ill, despite the fact that pandemic restrictions have mostly eased. Commissioned by the health care retailer and fielded by global survey vendor Dynata, the quantitative study surveyed more than 1,000 senior adults age 55 and older in the United States about their feelings on socializing post-pandemic.

The survey found that an estimated 17 million (42%) of seniors agreed that they’re less socially active now than they were before COVID. Further, an estimated 8.2 million (20%) of seniors said that they feel lonelier now than before the pandemic.

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Walgreens’ research also revealed that seniors are eschewing activities they used to take part in pre-pandemic, due to anxiety about being exposed to COVID-19. Among these activities, 28% said that they miss going shopping or running errands, and 15% said that they miss the independence of doing things for themselves, like shopping.

This worry regarding socialization increases for the Black senior community 55 and older, with almost four in 10 (39%) of these seniors expressing feelings of social isolation – 13 percentage points higher than the total population of 55 and older. What’s more, 43% Black seniors said that they’re limiting what they do and where they go because of their fear of contracting COVID-19 – 16 percentage points higher than the total population of 55 and older.

On the other hand, the “COVID-19 Pulse Check” found that 70% of seniors are more confident socializing when the people they interact with are vaccinated against COVID-19 and other viruses such as flu, shingles and pneumonia.

To help older consumers get out more and engage with their communities, Walgreens Seniors Day fosters an accessible, safe and supported environment. Patients 55 and older and their caregivers can save 20% off eligible regular-priced merchandise on the first Tuesday of every month or online all week with code SENIOR20 at checkout (Sunday-Saturday of that week). At checkout, seniors should let a Walgreens associate know that they’re shopping with the Seniors Day discount for the savings to apply to their purchase. Those with Medicare Advantage over-the-counter benefits can ask team members how to take advantage of their benefit while in store.

Other ways that Walgreens is supporting senior is through such pharmacy services as Save A Trip Refill, 90-day prescription fills and refill reminders, all of which make medication management easier; no-cost at-home COVID-19 tests available with most insurance plans through May 11; a simple process for scheduling vaccine appointments by phone or app, as well as online; and widely available 24-hour delivery and 30-minute pickup options.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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