Effects of COVID Pandemic on Senior Care
Written by: AbigailHowellWriting
Shrouded in the desolate loneliness of the COVID-19 pandemic, the remnants of human interaction have seeped through the cracks of technology and essential voyages to supermarkets and grocery stores; residing; at the crux of longevity and well-being, social interaction provides innumerable health benefits— all of which are as equally important, at any age, to the body and mind. Feelings of isolation have penetrated societies across the globe; however, with science and technology residing at the forefront of innovation and adaptation, remaining socially active has simply transitioned from in-person greetings to the world of virtual meetings, conference calls, and get togethers.
But, what about those who are unable to live an independent and socially distant life?
The elderly have become the epicenter of the human targets sought out by a nano particle, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Included in the pre-disposition to physical and mental illness, the elderly population is naturally subjected to isolation. Approximately 46% of the U.S. population aged 60 and older live exclusively with a spouse, compared to 31% in other countries and territories; independence; daily life is a sought-after quality some hope to establish well-into their golden years, with many unfortunately becoming cast into widowhood and left to live a life alone. With the relatively low percentage of seniors living alone, many of them have become overshadowed by the immediate travesties of the population. Many have been left to fend for themselves, not only creating physical obstacles and barriers but establishing mental hurdles along the way. A growing population of the elderly are unacquainted with technological advancements and lack the ability to cook and clean for themselves. In addition to the obstacles faced by seniors living alone, age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, are reaching an all-time struggle, with 60-65% of those reporting more stress and feeling more isolated since restrictions were put in place in March of 2020.
The influence of the media also poses a grave risk to anxiety and stress-levels experienced by the elderly during this pandemic; with many unable to leave their homes due to restrictions or physical handicaps, television provides a sole source of entertainment for the aging population. A vast majority of media outlets highlight the grave dangers and repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the detrimental news of the outbreak, seniors are the targeted audience, due to the increased mortality rate of the population infected with the virus.
Often overlooked and stigmatized in geriatric care, assisted living centers have become a safe-haven and crutch for those affected by the isolation of the pandemic, as well as for families who are unable to care for their loved ones. As medical personnel becomes scantly and hazardously available to the general public, residents in assisted living centers receive typical living arrangements and services made available through assisted living personnel and skilled nurses in a home-like environment:
- 24-hour supervision and care
- Wellness programs
- Medication Management
- Social Activities
- Personal care services
In addition to the services provided by assisted living, the community has aided in providing quality of life to occupying residents by providing genuine human connection, quality meals, and engagement — all of which are vital elements to longevity and well-being.
Assisted living communities and centers allow residents the ability to regain and maintain a sense of independence by providing respect and acting with humility through top-of-the-line services, social interaction, and around-the-clock assistance. Families of those introduced into an assisted living community are granted the opportunity to cast hesitations and burdens to the side as caregivers, to gain peace of mind for their loved ones.
At a community like Optimized Senior Living, bringing joy daily was a priority pre-pandemic, but through the lock down and separation of families, and change, this became the daily objective, as well as communication with families. This joy and communication allows families to rest well knowing their loved one in Assisted Living is truly in caring hands.