Man sitting on edge of bed looking sad

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Angie Szumlinski News

Whenever I hear the term PTSD, I think about the many men and women who served their country and are living with this debilitating diagnosis. Thanking them for their service is easy, living with PTSD is not. What we rarely think about are other people, maybe someone you know, who may be living with PTSD without ever having served their country.

A study published in JAMA identified that family members of patients hospitalized in the ICU with COVID-19 disease were significantly associated with increased risks of PTSD 90 days after their loved one was discharged. The study looked at “why” this was happening and not shocking to us who work in senior living environments, they concluded that isolation and social distancing may be the culprit!

Yep, the study found that due to visitors feeling unwelcome and ICUs being “closed” due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, stress and symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD increased in family members. Not surprising, we have experienced this first-hand for months and months. Bottom line, although our doors are now open, our families may not be “well”. You may find that families need more support, more time to talk, have increased anxiety about what is going on with their loved one, etc. Stop, listen, support, these could be signs of PTSD. Never forget the pandemic, the isolation, the loneliness, the feeling of despair. Stay the course, stay informed and stay well!