Staying home during the coronavirus pandemic is not easy for most of us. We have our normal routines, whether it’s work, school, or other hobbies. When all that comes to a sudden halt, we can feel confused and frustrated. One especially affected population is seniors in care facilities. Most have been closed off from outside visitors for months now. Some are stuck in their room, with three meals a day being delivered to their door. This can increase symptoms of depression, paranoia, and anxiety. It can also just be plain overwhelming. It’s so important to be aware of the health concerns of coronavirus isolation for seniors.
This KGW article tells us about how coronavirus isolation impacts seniors. Hermina and Galen Goodale are one example. This married couple of more than 60 years shared a room at an assisted living facility. They kept each other company and loved to watch sports and do jigsaw puzzles together. Sadly, in March, Galen contracted coronavirus and passed away two weeks later. He was 93. Now, Hermina’s daughter reports that she notices major changes in her mother. She explains that the more isolated she’s becoming, the more paranoid she is. She’s becoming more and more afraid of germs.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, seniors have reported feeling far less connected. For anyone, this can be a problem. However, for seniors who are more vulnerable this can compound already existing health concerns. Health concerns like decreased appetite and less physical activity have been commonly seen. These are especially problematic because they both can increase fall risk, which is already an issue for many seniors.
The best thing senior care facilities can do to mitigate this issue is to be more involved in their care. They need to help fill the void. Simply checking in on them more frequently, having a conversation, or playing calming music can all be helpful. In addition, helping them to use technology to communicate with family and friends can be extremely beneficial. We need to do all we can to lessen the effects of coronavirus isolation for seniors.