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The sudden appearance of the COVID-19 virus has impacted virtually everyone on the planet. Both seniors and their families have been asked to self-isolate, avoid contact with others, work remotely, and minimize trips away from home. Seniors in retirement communities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Therefore, The Arbor Company has put measures in place to help ensure the health and well-being of our residents and staff.

Though being quarantined is not necessarily pleasant, the steps we have taken have been recommended by medical leaders, reviewed by Arbor staff, and implemented to help maintain our community's health and well-being. Hopefully, the situation will resolve itself quickly, but in the meantime, we are determined to do everything possible to safeguard our staff and residents.

Isolation Can Result in Health Risks

Research at the National Institute on Aging has found that loneliness and isolation in seniors can harm their health. Conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, anxiety, and other illnesses have been linked to loneliness in both seniors and other age groups. Staying engaged is key to remaining healthy during times of isolation.

Suggestions for Managing Isolation Due to COVID-19

Here are nine suggestions we have for keeping active, staying healthy, and maintaining a great attitude while in isolation.

  • Structure the Day

While in isolation, establish a fixed routine using some of the tips below or other activities you already practice. Even in isolation, it's important to maintain consistency for getting out of bed, getting dressed, and completing your planned activities for the day.

  • Keep a Journal or Diary

It may seem like there wouldn't be much to write about during isolation, but keeping a diary of thoughts and observations can be a very fulfilling task. Taking time to document simple things such as family discussions, how you learned about the virus, what friends are doing to pass the time, and personal insights and wisdom can all serve as mementos of this unusual time.

  • Stay in Contact

Make sure to communicate with friends and family regularly. There are many methods of conducting video meetings and conversations over computers and cellphones. And, if these are not available, then regular calls on a direct landline can keep you connected.

  • Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes it is pleasant to enjoy the quiet while wrapped in a warm blanket and savoring a hot cup of tea. Enjoying your favorite comfort food can also help bring a sense of well-being to some “me” time.

  • Engage in Age-Appropriate Exercise

Always consult with your physician before beginning a personalized exercise routine. Include exercising when you plan your day, then stick to your schedule. If you have access to outside areas, complete your exercises in fresh air and sunshine.

  • Form a Buddy Group

The availability of computer and cellphone systems that can connect people through the internet is a wonderful feature of today's technology. If you have access to a computer and these programs, form an online group that meets regularly. These can be gatherings with friends, family celebrations, or even happy hour parties. 

  • Find a Great Distraction

Books, movies, or other television programs can make for a great distraction during isolation. Also, working on a favorite hobby such as knitting, puzzles, going through family photographs, or keeping a scrapbook can be both rewarding and help pass the time.

  • Avoid Excessive Virus News Coverage

Though it's important to keep up with the latest news, it's also a good idea to avoid spending too much time watching virus news coverage and reporting. The better approach is to spend time on personal enjoyment. 

  • Reach out for Help If the Loneliness Becomes Overwhelming 

Certainly, should anxiety, depression, fear, or loneliness become excessive, reach out to family or Arbor staff members who can assist and direct you to appropriate skilled professionals. We are available and ready to help each of our residents manage this quarantine and remain as active as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of nearly everyone on the planet.  Here at The Arbor company, we are dedicated to the health and safety of each of our residents and are taking the recommended steps to address pandemic-related concerns. By staying active even in isolation, residents can manage — and even thrive — during the current crisis. If you have questions during this shutdown, please feel free to connect with us via our website or by phone, 817-292-5600.

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Wanda Moen

About the Author: Wanda Moen

Wanda is the Vice President of Sales for The Arbor Company.

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