Covid-19 Ageism: Age discrimination in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Subjective experiences of persons aged 65+ within German-speaking Switzerland

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the question has arisen from a gerontological perspective as to what significance the intensive public discourse on the vulnerability of persons aged 65+ and their categorisation as high risk group has for those affected and their perception and treatment within society. Despite initial studies on the experiences and perceptions of older adults since the beginning of the spread of Covid-19, there are still no differentiated findings on subjectively experienced age discrimination during this period among people aged 65+. To close this research gap, the Institute for Ageing Research (IAF) conducted a survey with persons aged 65 and older within the German-speaking part of Switzerland using a mixed-method-design, including qualitative (focus group) and quantitative (standardised online questionnaire). The aim was to record the general experience of the Covid-19 pandemic in this target group, the forms and areas of subjectively experienced age discrimination and the subjective evaluation of these experiences. Furthermore, potential differences according to selected sociodemographic characteristics were of interest.

Project team

Julia Reiner, Stephanie Lehmann, Esther Ruf, Rhea Braunwalder, Sabina Misoch




07/2020 – 09/2020