Document Type

Honors Thesis




Kelley Strout

Committee Members

Jennifer Crittenden, Lenard Kaye, Kathryn Robinson, Jennie Woodard

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


The COVID-19 pandemic has created several challenges within the healthcare industry and has highlighted the impact of social isolation on older adults in Maine’s nursing homes. The older adult population, defined as individuals 65 years and older, has been identified with increased risk in contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, older adults were placed on strict isolation precautions and confined within their nursing home setting, many residing only in their rooms. With Maine having the oldest population in the United States, this created a need for further investigation into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lived experiences of older adults in Maine’s nursing homes. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenology study, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, was conducted to explore the lived experiences of older adults in the nursing home setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample included five residents who participated in a pre-screening questionnaire, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), and in-person semi-structured interviews. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was utilized using Lincoln & Guba’s data analysis. Results indicated that nursing home residents felt compelled to adjust to pandemic nursing home living quickly, may feel disconnected from staff members, felt like a burden to their loved ones, and used music has a healing mechanism. These results encourage that nursing home healthcare professionals should continue to find creative solutions for older adults to maintain a sense of connectedness during times of social isolation.