Senior Care has been stunned by the ongoing threat of COVID-19. With our most vulnerable population still in their homes, or at their community’s social isolation has continued to rise. Recently local and state governments have imposed certain restrictions to ensure protection of our seniors, but family concern and worry has led to looser restrictions. All over the country, families have voiced the detrimental impact social isolation is having on their loved ones. From simple memory loss to noticeable cognitive decline, overall separation does not benefit seniors- and we are now past the point of realization and must figure what should be done to combat this void.
Benefits of socializing can be widespread. Some of these benefits include: Better Emotional Health, Improved Physical Health, Better Cognitive Function, and even a Boosted Immune System. Studies show that seniors who are engaged with others have higher levels of immune system functioning. Chronic stress and depression can weaken the immune system; now when tied in with social isolation and decreased mobility we are noticeably trending in the wrong direction. So, what could be done to support our seniors? Well to start, daily activities and adapting to new innovations.
Due to new innovations like Zoom and social media, it’s more easier than ever to stay in connected with a senior family member or friend. Along with adapting to new modes of communication, we must also encourage daily activity- including both physical and cognitive functionalities. There are plenty resources that can help a family member decide what activities are most important for their loved ones. Depending on different factors, not all activities will be approached the same way. It is important to understand our physical and cognitive strengths, so the activities do not feel like a new challenge, but a relaxing escape. During the last few months, we have suffered with mandatory lockdowns, social distancing and avoiding personal contact all together. Although we are still taking precautionary measures, it is important to remember daily stimulation to avoid any sort of decline. For seniors it is imperative that we continue to keep them engaged even is distance makes that more challenging.