Ageing in unusual times: the experience of older people and those who work with them in the time of Covid-19

Call for papers for: Working with Older People

The new disease with an anodyne name made its way from China to Italy, then onwards to the rest of Europe, America, and the world, causing havoc and bringing about what is now referred to as “the new normal”.

Covid-19 is particularly dangerous for older people. At first, this was presented as a kind of consolation (“it mostly kills the old”), and as well as the infections, we witnessed with worry the rise of narratives that de facto portrayed older people as disposable. Then the horror of what was happening in care homes across the world became apparent, and it filled us with consternation. Are we sacrificing an entire generation? What is the toll of this virus on older people and those who care for and about them?

This special issue of Working with Older People (WWOP) will explore the unique challenges that Covid-19 presents for older people and for those who care for them and work with them.

We are interested in receiving contributions considering, among other topics, the ramifications (practical, social, psychological, medical) of this pandemic for older people but also for those who work with them, and those who care for and about them.

We welcome contributions from carers, care workers, academics, activists, advocates, social care, health and allied professions, family members and friends of older people affected directly and indirectly by Covid-19. And of course, from older people themselves.

Contributions may take the form of opinion, commentary, and thought pieces; analysis and research from various disciplinary vantage points, from the theoretical, to the applied and the more practical, ‘hands-on-approach’. Self-reflective contributions are also most welcome.

As always, WWOP is interested in contributions that can, directly or indirectly, inspire and inform practice.

This special edition of WWOP aims to offer guidance and reassurance, to bear witness, and to inform and assist care.

The following are examples of topics, but other related topics are also encouraged:

  • The discourse and language around older people during the pandemic;
  • The forms of grief in a time of social distance. For example, what’s the effect of not being able to be by a loved one’s bedside as they pass away, and of not being able to attend their funeral or not being able to go
  • The practical and emotional challenges of working with, and caring for, older people in the community and in care settings;
  • The impact of Covid-19 on health and care professionals. What is – for example – the impact of witnessing death and suffering on a massive scale;
  • The experience of being an older person during Covid-19;
  • Self-reflective pieces on caring and being a carer or care worker;
  • Covid-19 and disabled older people, especially those living with “minority impairments”, such as deafblindness (who rely on touch for communications, making social distancing particularly challenging);
  • Covid-19 and co-morbidity in older people;
  • Covid-19 and minority groups, such as older women, older people from BAME communities, and older LGBT people.
  • through the usual rituals that would normally accompany death, such as wakes;


Deadline and Submission Details

Author guidelines can be found here:

The manuscript submission site can be found here:

Papers will be double-blind peer-reviewed, if requested. If not, manuscripts will be subject to editorial review to ensure quality. 

Submission Deadline: 1 July 2020

Inquiries may be sent to: Simone Bacchini (editor) [email protected]