The coronavirus pandemic has caused fear, anxiety, and depression to much of the world’s population. This pandemic forced us to be away from our friends, families and our sickly and aging loved ones. COVID-19 created even more challenges for elderly adults with underlying health conditions including those with dementia.
Challenges in memory assisted living
Residents in memory assisted living facilities are separated from their loved ones due to restrictions to help control the spread of the virus. Many residents with memory disorders feel even more isolated due to the loss of face-to-face contact.
An Answer to the Lack of Face-to-Face Time
- Care facilities have been learning to adapt to the new normal which includes using wireless technology to bridge the gap between elderly adults and their families. Friends, families, and residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia will exert more effort to get in touch through various Internet-based chat platforms and video calling.
In addition, this pandemic made it even more difficult for care facilities workers to implement COVID19 prevention practices due to the residents’ cognitive impairment.
Difficulties in implementing Covid-19 preventive measures
Elderly residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s may find it hard to follow recommended COVID-19 precautionary measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent washing of hands. The changes of routine in memory assisted living facilities like not being able to socialize with fellow residents, can lead to depression, aggression, or confusion.
Small Changes to Help Residents Adapt
- With these inevitable changes, healthcare providers and caregivers in memory assisted living must work double to constantly monitor routines among elderly residents. By upping the amount of time caretakers spend with individuals, residents are able to receive any extra care they need while adjusting to the changes brought by COVID-19.
Handling the Threat of COVID-19 Entering the Caring Facilities
Another challenge is the immediate care that residents who have had possible contact with the coronavirus. While temporarily eliminating outside visitations from family and friends creates some added stress and frustrations, it is a crucial step in limiting the amount of possibilities there are of bringing COVID-19 into the facilities. The most important action right now is keeping residents safe and healthy, and the best way to do so is by limiting outside entry.
What Caretakers can do to Tackle the Discomforts and Anxiety of Residents while they Adjust to these New Guidelines
- Apart from the daily care they provide to all memory assisted living residents, healthcare professionals must do additional work like organizing and implementing other disciplines to reduce stress and anxiety.
Together with a team of experts in memory care, relaxation and meditation techniques must be shared across elderly adults in these facilities to improve psychological and overall well-being.
There is no easy way of handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of the coronavirus has claimed millions of lives across the globe and the death toll is only increasing.
Elderly adults and those with underlying health problems are vulnerable most especially during the COVID19 pandemic.
With the challenges of keeping the residents safe and healthy at the same time maintaining communication with their families, memory assisted living facilities must adjust to the new normal and introduce new routines to give their residents the best care.