Memory Care Communities offer Hope & Help during Covid-19
By Susan Stewart
“The most common pathology I saw [for seniors with dementia] was not heart disease or diabetes, but loneliness,” said Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General.
As Covid-19 continues to infect Americans, the effects of the necessary distancing and social isolation have only served to increase that loneliness. However, as the senior housing industry navigates this brand new world, many memory care communities are finding new and creative ways to encourage healthy social interactions. And that makes placing loved ones in the supportive, communal environments they need much more appealing.
For example, at Sydney Creek Memory Care in San Luis Obispo, administrators and life enrichment staff are overseeing visitors in an outdoor courtyard, by appointment. “After weeks of being locked down, it’s wonderful to see our residents having conversations and taking walks with friends and family members,” said Kirk Klotthor, Administrator. Klotthor said that masks and distancing are still required.
In addition, Life Enrichment staff offer carefully orchestrated activities throughout the day that allow residents to interact with staff and each other for games, puzzles, and music. Times are staggered and the number of people who attend are limited so that distancing and safety can be maintained.
“For many families, our program provides reassurance that their loved ones are not only getting the nutrition and medication management they need, but also the social interaction, preservation of familiar routines, and other stimulation they require for optimal health,” Klotthor added. # # #