Near and Dear

It is very hard to find uplifting stories during these days of COVID-19 and yet we are all thirsting for just that – a positive, happy, or comforting story about healthcare, in any setting, but senior living places in particular. After scanning many reports, the following story met the criteria. It offered a glimmer of hope for what might be around the corner in many settings.

We have read a lot about the impact of loneliness on those residing in senior housing since the pandemic lockdown was imposed. We have heard and seen accounts of families barred from their loved ones at a time when they each needed to be comforted by the other. We all are painfully aware of how difficult this has been and how there is still no easy option for bringing loved ones together in most settings. Understanding how urgent the need is for reunions to occur, and how difficult to accomplish, will help you appreciate this report of a company that has risen above these hurdles, making it possible for residents and families to be safe together.

Discovery Senior Living, of Florida, launched a program called Near and Dear – Bringing Families Together, to “allow more closeness and intimacy during family visits, enabling families to physically touch and embrace their loved ones. It’s a way to overcome the negative impacts of separation and meaningfully enrich the lives of our residents despite the still-significant threat of COVID-19.”

The pandemic and subsequent quarantine have illuminated the need to look more closely at the correlations between frailty and social isolation. A recent study concluded that: “Older adults with frailty who are also lonely or socially isolated constitute a high‐risk group for mortality.” Hoogendijk, 2020

As we learn more about COVID-19 and best infection control practices, we must also purpose to understand more about the side effects of quarantine, loneliness, boredom, lack of activity, and the absence of contact from those the residents hold near and dear. 

Contact us to learn more about frailty and its impact on care in the nursing home population.