Posted: February 15, 2021
Health & Wellness
The spread of a global pandemic over the past year, as well as its subsequent social isolation and health interventions, has led to another kind of epidemic: loneliness. Even outside of these extraordinary circumstances, social isolation costs among seniors have been high. Studies have repeatedly shown that the health of our elder population suffers, with isolation contributing to higher blood pressure, disrupted sleep, and other health conditions.
Adults over the age of 80 are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, with fatality risks of nearly 10 percent from the virus. Consequently, many people question whether senior living communities are safe right now.
The truth is that the best assisted living communities have adapted quickly and responsibly to protect their residents. With activities canceled, favorite places temporarily closed, and overall unease about being in public settings, seniors who are living at home are also likely to be isolated from family and friends. Lack of socialization among seniors can lead to loneliness and depression. But senior living communities are still providing residents with plenty of opportunities for exercise, dining, learning, entertainment, and more. Learn more about ways Sugar Fork Crossing is adapting to COVID-19 to benefit our residents.
Here are just some of the benefits of a senior living community, even in a post-COVID-19 world.
Having health care on-site at the community provides an extra layer of protection and reassurance, which is invaluable during a pandemic. Daily wellness checks help to ensure you or your loved one is staying hydrated and well-nourished, both of which are crucial to maintaining overall health. In addition to having access to regular vaccine testing, at Sugar Fork Crossing, residents were able to stay home to get their COVID-19 vaccination on-site in the community. Learn more about Sugar Fork Crossing’s plan to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine.
Eating a well-balanced diet is an essential part of staying healthy for older adults, and often those who live on their own neglect having a balanced meal everyday. With the wholesome and nutritious meals at an assisted living community, residents can maintain a healthy weight and get the nutrients they need to stay energized. Having meals full of nutrience and superfoods also lowers the risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Assisted living communities have adapted classic activities and created new ones to ensure residents stay active, despite these unprecedented challenges during the pandemic. With scheduled dining, small group gatherings, and diligent sanitation, seniors can enjoy socialization at a safe distance with their peers with confidence. Virtual activities provide residents ways to connect with others, both inside and outside of the community. Other activities include games, food sampling, regular exercise, and outdoor pursuits.
We all love to socialize, but did you know socializing is actually good for your overall health too? Seniors who are able to socialize regularly, have better cardiovascular health and an improved immune system which in return causes them to live longer.
Falls are responsible for many fatal and nonfatal injuries among older Americans, and stress and disruption of daily routines can increase that risk. Many senior living communities are reporting an increase in falls since the start of the pandemic. It’s crucial that seniors have access to an exercise program that incorporates major movements in addition to the motivation for increased regular activity.
Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions have introduced a program called Movement 4 Life designed to improve the physical and mental health and enhance the quality of life for its residents. Movements are designed increase balance, flexibility, and strength and includes four exercises daily: marching in place, sit-to-stand, sit-and-reach, and gait speed testing.
In addition to heavy sanitation of common areas such as hallways, dining rooms, and activity rooms, assisted living team members are trained to follow best practices to prevent community spread of COVID-19. This includes following state mask mandates for staff and residents. At Sugar Fork Crossing, we work closely with the local health department and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, altering our practices as new information about the virus becomes available.