It’s been one year since life as we knew it got turned upside down. One of the strangest and most challenging times in our nation’s history, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought untold heartbreak. However, humans have risen to the moment by creating opportunities for light in the midst of dark times. One place where this innovation has been most apparent is the senior living community.
If necessity is the mother of invention, senior living communities have become the matriarchs! While much of the world struggled with maintaining relationships at the onset of quarantine, senior living residents and staff were creating solutions, such as arranging window visits that grew into musical performances, visits from service animals, and birthday celebrations. What was once a news image of loneliness and sadness quickly became a symbol of love, connection, and resourcefulness. From socially distanced dinners to individualized art projects, these communities continue to find ways to sustain the good things in life and will undoubtedly continue once quarantine ends.
You can’t talk about senior living and quarantine without highlighting the enormous benefits of using technology to connect to the outside world. Think Grandma doesn’t “get” the internet? Think again! With the help of staff and family members, seniors everywhere have used Zoom, FaceTime, and other platforms to communicate with loved ones when visits aren’t possible. Many have found that they’ve connected with their family more, not less, because of the convenience of spending time together via technology. Quarantine has taught us that close relationships don’t have to wait for weekends, holidays, or special occasions. Grandkids, especially, have thrived using their language of technology to get to know their grandparents better during this time.
Wearing masks and washing hands: these simple actions have saved thousands of lives by lessening the spread of COVID-19. As a result, cases of the flu and common cold are down as well. While we might not always wear masks in the future, quarantine has shown us the importance of paying attention to our health and ensuring that we don’t pass our symptoms along to others. In the future, friends and family members will think twice before visiting senior living communities with a nagging cough or stuffy nose.
Difficult times push us to prioritize the people and activities that are important to us. During quarantine, senior living communities have created a natural opportunity to nurture a richer sense of extended family within their walls. By connecting more with fellow residents and staff, many seniors have found “lockdown,” to be an “opening up” of friendships that will endure long after the virus has moved out.
Our communities continue to thrive as we rise to face new challenges and learn new and better ways to live than before. Learn more about our Danbury story and our “Hope from Within.”