Posted: June 24, 2020
As health officials instructed the public to self-quarantine to protect themselves and others from the spread of the coronavirus, news reports began to highlight another concern – the adverse effects of social distancing on seniors, a population already at risk of social isolation and loneliness. For residents who live in a senior living community, however, this risk of becoming socially isolated may be lower than for other seniors. Even while maintaining safe physical distancing practices, residents and staff are finding opportunities to stay active, have fun, and socialize safely, helping everyone to stay healthy and happy during the pandemic.
At Cappella Pueblo West, the word “community” means more than a place to live, it’s a collaboration of caregivers, family, and residents. We believe life enrichment is a whole community responsibility, one that honors individuality while challenging residents to grow and contribute to the enrichment of others. During this challenging season, our assisted living staff and residents needed to find creative ways to modify favorite programs and special events. Keeping residents active is an important component of healthy aging. So the team brainstormed ways to stay active and connected while staying socially distanced – balancing health and happiness.
To promote physical health, the team devised a “poker run”. For every lap a resident completed, they got a card, and at the end, they would compare hands to see who won. The community has also taken advantage of the beautiful weather to host outdoor cookouts, 6 feet apart, enjoying delicious food and company.
The community also devised a unique way to recognize important holidays such as Easter and Mother’s Day. For Easter, the community held an Easter parade. They decorated food carts and all staff and residents participated. It was a fun, colorful celebration of a deeply meaningful holiday for many of the residents. For Mother’s Day, the residents spent time planting flowers and welcoming spring.
Cappella Pueblo West knows the importance of keeping residents connected while families cannot visit and residents cannot go places they would normally go. In order to promote social connection, we implemented virtual resident visits with families and collaborated with local churches to share services and Bible Studies virtually online. The residents took time to write thank you cards to local police, fire and EMS, wanting to show their appreciation for knowing those who were working extra hard during this time. We truly have been In This Together.
The COVID19 pandemic has presented challenges to everyone, especially at-risk older adults. The challenges of social distancing and the strain of being isolated can lead to feelings of loneliness and fear. However, assisted living communities like Cappella Pueblo West can provide opportunities to connect, stay active, and have fun. Read more about the advantages of Senior Living in times of social distancing.