Social isolation is an enormous concern for our elderly during the current pandemic. The process of keeping our most vulnerable population from being exposed to COVID-19 must include a degree of separation from the general population and other measures to reduce transmission. However, this process alone comes with an additional set of risks not associated with infection.
Social isolation greatly impacts the mental well-being of the elderly, including an increased risk of depression and anxiety, and a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature mortality.
Whether being cared for at home or residing in an assisted living facility, the elderly are at risk of feeling a sense of isolation during this pandemic, especially those that were already experiencing feelings of loneliness, seclusion, or depression.
Assisted Living – Avoiding Isolation and Loneliness
You may be weighing out the decision to either keep your loved one in your private residence or to move them to an assisted living home during this pandemic. We understand your concerns. Assisted living in a caring facility, such as our memory care residence, deters isolation, and promotes practices that help to prevent feelings of loneliness. Success with this starts with an understanding of isolation and loneliness.
Isolation is often described as detachment, solitude, segregation, confinement, and obscurity. So, clearly, an elderly patient that is kept in confinement, away from social relationships or contact, could be described as “in isolation”.
Loneliness is often described as a feeling of detachment, separation, desolation, isolation, aloneness, or desertion. Elderly patients with dementia are especially prone to these types of feelings which can accompany depression and anxiety even when a person is not isolated entirely from others.
In this pandemic, elderly that are living alone or with a caregiver, are shielded from contact with the public to prevent virus transmission through self-quarantine or by being shut off from other people who could put them at a higher risk for infection. While this can be effective, it can also increase the sense of seclusion when there is no community within the home.
Community helps to alleviate any sense of confinement. We are very much aware that the elderly are at risk, however, when confined within a home, or within one room of a home with little to no access to anyone other than the caregiver, the isolation itself becomes a serious mental and physical health risk. Read more
Isolation Prevention – Community and Personal Attention
Social community and personal attention are proven to help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation. Before the virus outbreak, many seniors and assisted living residents were urged to actively participate in social activities. Stay-at-home and quarantine measures stopped most community social activities in their tracks.
Unlike typical preventive seclusion measures, our memory care assisted living continues to support and engage in in-facility group activities which helps our residents thrive. Participating with others in community activities, in vital social sharing, is not within the realm of safety for elderly people that live outside of assisted living.
We believe that caring is what matters. Our residents are often seen in community areas surrounded by our tuned-in professional staff who personally know each individual and attend to their needs. They go beyond having just a simple association with each resident. Instead, they know your loved one’s likes, dislikes, favorites, and they ensure each resident feels a sense of personal attention.
Assisted Living for Your Loved One Could be Your Best Decision
Though this is a trying time, we at Sundara understand the toll that isolation can have on those who suffer memory issues. It may seem like the wrong decision to make in light of virus prevention, but with our enhanced safety measures (such as following strict and latest CDC and Texas Health Services guidelines and hygiene practices), as well as our enriched living structure through social community values, moving your loved one to assisted living memory care can be the best decision that you can make.
We do a good job of keeping our residents engaged, stimulated, and cared for…in a safe way! We encourage you to visit our Facebook page to see some of the activities happening during this difficult time. Do not miss the multiple videos of events and family testimonials! While on our page, check out our bingo winners, pizza day, basketball, movie night, pizza night, and happy hour (Sundara style, of course)!
If you are considering assisted living memory care for your loved one in the Round Rock, Texas area, we can assist you with the aspects of that decision.
If you are a caregiver and would like to talk about the best options for your loved one, give us a call at 512-399-5089. We can help you through every step of the way.