Social Isolation and Covid-19

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by Dana Woods

Our days are full with routine and meeting expectations. Work. School. Spouses. Significant others. Children. Pets. Exercise. Running our households. Volunteering. Caring for others. Faith-based activities. Social meet-ups. And so much more.

In a perfect world, we look forward to our Golden Years. The time comes when we retire from our careers and want to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Routine and expectations no longer have to exist and we make of our time how we see fit. Your new plan might include more volunteer work, more faith-based activities, a part-time job, social activities, exercise classes, walks with friends, or cherished trips to spend time with family and friends.

If we are fortunate, we eventually move forward into our sunset years. However, our bodies slow down. Health issues are more profound. Our spouses, significant others and life long friends begin to pass. Days can be long and nighttime even longer. Our need for others grows. Interactions and activities become less about want and more about need, that is to keep us looking forward to the days ahead. With familial loss and weakening bodies, social isolation and loneliness are very real concerns for aging seniors.


Enter: Covid-19 and its Variants

Older adults are at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19, and the need is significantly greater for this age-group to practice social distancing, avoid groups, stay home and remove oneself from social/interactional activities.

Formerly active and inactive seniors, find themselves frightened of the unknown. Many older adults do not know how to use computer applications such as Zoom and Facetime and many do not like this forum as a substitute for real connections.

Adults in this age bracket can be further isolated and more lonely than ever. Adults in assisted care and memory care facilities are isolated from their neighbors housed in the same facility. They may be forced to spend their days in their rooms, just waiting for meals to be delivered. There could be a staffing shortage. Daily niceties and minimal care needs often get overlooked.

Ways We Can Help

What can our Geriatric Care Managers do?  Let’s be mindful of our Seniors! Check in! Have meals delivered (for guaranteed human connection AND meal service). Sign them up for Chefs for Seniors, Store to Door, or Meals on Wheels services. Teach the older adults in your life to use Zoom and Facetime with support of friends and staff who have the skills to work with you. In addition, get them connected with virtual activities. Consider Life Enhancement Services through our company.  Assist with implementing daily physical activity.

Provide a senior with reasons to wake up and stay up each day. In time, Covid-19 will be a thing of the past but your assistance with the isolated senior will have enhanced their life and those good memories will last forever.

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