Senior Depression – Social Distancing

Lisa O'Neill
April 30, 2020
Depression in Dementia with Lewy Body

Have you ever wanted to go out shopping or visiting somewhere and couldn’t for some reason? Think about the feelings that accompanied that – upset, angry, sad, frustrated, depressed. During our social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak, our residents feel this now more than ever! Research has shown that if we offer structure and various activities, moods will increase; especially during a time of pandemic when depression rates are on the rise.

Even before we felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics show that depression affected one in five people and will increase during the height of the pandemic and long after it ends. Some ideas to lessen the risk and/or impact of depression in our older adults include:

  • Play interactive games in the hallways (i.e., doorway bingo, current events, etc.)
  • Put together “on-the-go” activity bins for those in isolation due to illness
  • Use technology for suggestions on what to do during social distancing
  • Holding “morning chats”
  • Having activity staff handwrite postcards to each resident and “deliver the mail”

There are countless ideas out there however many of them are “independent” and right now residents want to “see each other”, “hear each other” and just enjoy a good laugh! Embrace the time with the residents and ensure they have enough social interaction to lessen the risk of depression! Take care, stay well, and thank you for all you do for our residents!

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