The #Caremongering social media campaign: Understanding its impact and adaptability to combat social isolation among older adults affected by COVID-19
Early in the pandemic, Facebook #caremongering groups sprung up across Canada to pool resources, share information and offer help with groceries, supplies and prescription deliveries. Thousands offered help to those who are at risk and vulnerable during the pandemic, including older adults, many of whom are immunocompromised, sick, or caring for someone who needs their support and, therefore, unable to leave their house. This project will examine how the #caremongering campaign has impacted this group, and it will investigate how older adults were able to use and benefit from the services offered by volunteers in these campaigns. The team will also look at whether the campaign contributed to older adults feeling less socially isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic where additional restrictions and physical/social distancing practices were required. This study seeks to develop a better understanding of how the #caremongering campaign was successful (or not) in supporting older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this, a group of stakeholders will gather (virtually) to co-design new solutions. These solutions can be adapted and spread across communities to support older adults post COVID-19 and in future pandemics. Finally, by discovering the motives of those involved in the #caremongering movement, this study will determine how these types of social media campaigns can be sustained after COVID-19 is over.