The need for human connection is so important, now more than ever. Social distancing has limited the physical connectivity we all desire between family and friends. Those with loved ones in senior living, such as assisted living, memory care, or post-acute care are feeling even more isolated. The guilt of not being the one to care for a loved one is making family members feel even more disconnected. Luckily, in today’s age of technology, there are many virtual activities you can do with your loved one to keep you all connected, safely. Here are just some of the options that have been implemented by our communities.
Video and Phone Calls
Zoom and Skype are booming like never before. However, for some of the people in senior living, perhaps an old-fashioned phone call is more within their comfort zone. Whatever their preference may be, our staff has worked together with the families and the residents to ensure that families stay connected during these isolating times. Health experts agree that, “While practicing social distancing is vital in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 admitted hospitalizations, it does not have to mean social isolation. During this unique time of social distancing, it is imperative that we do not completely disconnect with one another.” Video and phone calls are powerful tools to keep people connected with their loved ones.
Virtual Wellness Programs
Just like any other time, it is important for seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle with physical and mental wellness. Programs aimed at supporting those initiatives can be done virtually to maintain safety while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Our Home Care Services team have been true pioneers in this movement by providing virtual wellness events to the family members and seniors in our care. According to the National Institute of Aging, “Regular physical activity including endurance, muscle-strengthening, balance, and flexibility exercises—is essential for healthy aging.”
Virtual Support Groups
Having a loved one in senior living can be a very difficult process for family members during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we do throughout the rest of the year, we offer monthly support groups to provide comfort and education to family members on a variety of subjects. Especially now, the need for that guidance and community is higher than ever before. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America discusses that, “Cultivating a sense of community and connectedness is an important part of healthy responding to a global crisis.” We are proud to continue to offer that sense of community for everyone that we care for.
Virtual Book Clubs
The final program that we are proud to offer seniors and family members alike to keep them engaged is our virtual book club. This event is hosted on Zoom for individuals to join via video or phone. The topics of the book club are always optimistic and positive focusing on literature that uplifts the spirit, which is something everyone can find value in right now. Healthline notes that the benefits of reading go way deeper than just to boost your spirits by saying, “The National Institute on Aging recommends reading books and magazines as a way of keeping your mind engaged as you grow older. Although research hasn’t proven conclusively that reading books prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s, studies show that seniors who read and solve math problems every day maintain and improve their cognitive functioning.”