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Social Distancing Doesn't Have to Mean Social Isolation for Older Adults

With the Coronavirus affecting adults over 60 at greater levels than other age groups, many older adults are electing to “self-isolate” or are actually on “lock down” at long-term care or skilled nursing communities. 

 

Social distancing and protecting the most “at risk” populations (i.e., adults 60 and older) is the current recommendation. And, I will do everything in my power to follow this guideline. 

 

The downside of social distancing, however,  is that it increases loneliness and isolation among a group of folks who are already at risk of social isolation- older adults, and more specifically older adults with chronic illness. 

 

What is the risk of social isolation?

There is a well established body of research linking social isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, and even death. 

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The COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults

With social distancing in full effect, older adults are encouraged to maintain their distance from others.  But this can have a major impact on your quality of life.

It's essential that during the COVID-19 pandemic that older adults stay physically safe and mentally well. Research shows that older adults who engage in meaningful and productive activities live longer, experience a better mood, and maintain a sense of purpose in their life.

To promote wellness for older adults, I have created a wellness guide to help older adults stay physically safe and mentally well during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

1. Stay connected with friends and family

Social distancing is important in maintaining your physical health and well-being in the time of COVID-19. And this is an important public health recommendation that we all need to follow.

The downside of social distancing, however, is that it increases the risk for loneliness and isolation among older adults.

One of the best ways to...

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Helping Older Adults Stay Connected During the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

With the Coronavirus affecting adults over 60 at greater levels than other age groups, many older adults are electing to “self-isolate” or are actually on “lock down” at long-term care or skilled nursing communities. 

 

Social distancing and protecting the most “at risk” populations (i.e., adults 60 and older) is the current recommendation. And, I will do everything in my power to follow this guideline. 

 

The downside of social distancing, however,  is that it increases loneliness and isolation among a group of folks who are already at risk of social isolation- older adults, and more specifically older adults with chronic illness. 

 

What is the risk of social isolation?

There is a well established body of research linking social isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, and even...

Continue Reading...

The Limiting Belief I Had To Overcome To Be A Dementia Care Expert (Ep #039)

 

When I first started working with dementia more than a decade ago, I didn't know much about dementia.

Prior to this point, I had a lot of experience working with older adults and their families. I loved working with older adults, but I had very little experience working with older adults with dementia and their families.

 

My first thoughts were, "What can I do with folks with dementia? What can I do with families? I don't know." I was at a loss for how to help.

 

Watch this week's episode to discover the most valuable lesson I needed to learn to become a dementia care expert!

 

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And so, I got busy learning everything I could about dementia. I went to conferences, I signed up for webinars, I interviewed experts, I read text books and journal articles. You name it! I devoured it. 

 

And you know what happened? Over time, I actually developed an expertise in caring for families with dementia disorders and now I educate other...

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