It’s no secret that Canada’s most vulnerable sector, our seniors, have taken the brunt of the toll during the COVID-19 pandemic. While their vulnerability due to physical health issues has been highlighted, a new challenge has risen into the spotlight. “Social Isolation” due to social distancing measures are now at the forefront of adverse effects to a senior’s overall health and well-being. Statistics Canada reports there are 1.7 million seniors over the age of 70 in Ontario that live alone or with their spouse. With new COVID-19 mandates, seniors’ vulnerability has obstructed their access to many socialization needs. Research has shown that loneliness and isolation can have adverse effects both cognitively and physically on a senior’s health. In 2012, a compilation of studies published by the American Medical Association Journal concluded a direct link between loneliness and heart disease. With these and many other emerging health risks on the rise due to social isolation, seniors and their families need to find a solution to combat these issues.
Many families have turned to retirement communities to provide their loved one with the care and socializing they need for a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few of the many benefits of living in a retirement community during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Regular friend and staff interactions. Residents benefit from daily connections with their friends and our caring staff. Whether it’s during the afternoon movie matinee or chatting over a morning coffee, residents can experience the positive effects of regular socialization.
Access to care. Seniors in a Metta Lifestyles community benefit from round-the-clock care. Our nurses and PSWs provide the highest quality of care when needed, all under one roof.
Protection from the outside world to reduce exposure. Seniors who live in a retirement home benefit significantly from reduced exposure that comes with routinely going out. The increased risk of transmission is highest when various people congregate. By living in a retirement home, seniors have all their needs at the ready, from meals and activities to care and entertainment. Retirement homes also follow strict guidelines and protocols to reduce any risks of introducing COVID into the community.
Retirement communities provide a safe, social environment for their residents. Whether as a short respite stay or as a permanent move, retirement communities offer their own “social bubbles.” At Metta Lifestyles, these social bubbles are maintained by our strict safety policies and procedures, as well as guidelines provided by public health officials. With regular activities and events, our retirement communities offer seniors a much-needed solution to ward off the health risks associated with social isolation in a safe, COVID-free environment that they may not be able to access anywhere else.
Medical News Today. “Loneliness Increases Risk of Premature Death in Seniors.” Web. 2014.
HealthlineNews. “Loneliness Is a Serious Health Risk for Seniors.” Web. 2014.
Caring.com. “Senior Loneliness: The Risks of Loneliness and Senior Neglect” by Melanie Haiken. Web. 2015
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press
Government of Canada. “Who’s at risk and what can be done about it? A review of the literature on the social isolation of different groups of seniors.” Web. 2017.