The year 2020 completely flipped the world on its head. Whether you were directly affected by COVID-19 or not, the pandemic took a toll on everyone in one way or another.
But when it comes to senior citizens, the pandemic caused much more harm. We know that seniors are at a higher risk of getting and experiencing complications from COVID-19. But the pandemic has heavily affected their mental health.
Let's put this into perspective. Data shows that 47% of people age 55 or older experienced feeling lonely from social and physical distancing. It also shows that 21% of people in the same age range felt as if their mental health has gotten worse during the winter months.
Not to mention that this couldn't be easy for those who already suffer from seasonal depression during the colder months of the year.
And while the pandemic has had a huge impact on healthcare workers and retirement community staff, these communities can be beneficial in helping seniors to overcome pandemic isolation for a few reasons.
Keeping a Daily Routine
While a routine can be helpful for everyone, it's especially beneficial for seniors during these uncertain times. It can add a sense of normalcy to ease stress and anxiety. The repetition of daily routines can also aid in developing healthy habits.
An added benefit of a consistent sleeping and eating schedule. If doable, seniors can also develop a safe and gentle exercise schedule by following a routine.
This is where being a part of a quality retirement community can help. It can be challenging for seniors to adjust to a new living situation, especially if it heavily differs from the one they were used to. Retirement community staff can ease the process by offering their support and helping them stick to healthy routines they can enjoy.
Spending Time Outside
One major cause of pandemic winter isolation is the constant need for social distance. Being stuck indoors alone can be debilitating, especially in the winter when the weather is cold and the days are shorter.
If it's safe to do so, bundling up and enjoying time outside may help. Seniors may benefit from going on short walks if the weather isn't too bad. Even enjoying a warm beverage outside with a welcoming staff member can ease the feeling of isolation during the pandemic.
Sunlight and vitamin D are essential to one's wellbeing, and a local retirement community will allow seniors to safely be outdoors.
Connecting With Other People
While having a human connection is important, it can be challenging to do when you can't physically be around your loved ones. Luckily, this doesn't have to stop people from seeing the people that care about them.
Connecting with loved ones virtually is an increasingly popular solution to spending meaningful time with friends and family. Community staff can help set up video calls and offer support to seniors who may feel lonely or isolated.
But that may not always be an option for some people. In those cases, staff members can set up safe retirement community activities. Depending on space and safety limits, this may be done indoors or outdoors.
It's also important to partake in activities that stimulate the brain. This could be reading, going through photo albums, or taking up whatever hobbies are safe and comfortable.
Contact Retirement Community Today
It may be true that the pandemic has put a wedge in the functionality of people's day-to-day lives. But no one should have to struggle to add at least a little bit of normalcy to their lives to help overcome pandemic isolation.
Central Place Retirement Community offers on-site nursing care, transportation, pharmacy services, and peer support for seniors. Don't hesitate to contact us to learn more and tour our community.