Isolation is Hard for Everyone
by Laura Case,
PAC Customer Service Support
Definition of Isolation: the condition of being alone, especially when this makes you feel unhappy.
I have heard the word isolation too many times these days, especially when we talk and hear about COVID. In July, my 23-year-old, healthy son tested positive for COVID. He had mild symptoms, but he was isolated away from our family for two weeks of quarantine. It was tough for him and for us. Lots of hand washing, Clorox wiping, plastic glove wearing, and masks being worn during these times. The rest of the family got tested and we tested negative, thankfully, but in order to remain negative we veered on the side of caution and stayed away from him even though it was hard being in the same home.
Each morning before he woke up for the day, I would serve his breakfast on a tray with a tumbler filled with ice water, and an encouraging note, letting him know that I was aware of the difficult circumstances and I was sorry that he was going through all of this. I remember on a particular evening he had enough and he lost it. He just wanted the virus to be gone and to get back to normal. The next morning after his outburst, he had a note for me saying he was sorry and appreciated all that we have been doing for him. He was just wanting life to get back to normal and he was sorry for upsetting me. I told him I appreciated his note and thoughts and then I mentioned how many in Senior Living communities and other places have been in isolation for five months. We discussed those precious people’s lives and how they have had to adapt and most of them don’t even have COVID. He had many thoughts and we agreed it’s just sad.
This got me thinking about isolation amongst Senior Living communities and how the effects are on them and their well-being. Teepa has had many conversations and even started a panelist discussion with people about their thoughts. I hear from many people, within my role as a Client Service Support with PAC, that the isolation is literally affecting these sweet souls in many ways. I can understand trying to prevent any virus attacking them, but the families/friends not being able to see their loved ones is causing more heartache. Think about this, if someone living in a community is only allowed to stay in their rooms and occasionally go outside for 20 minutes a day, they are being deprived of many things that we take for granted, especially the fellowship that one needs to thrive. Why not let those in isolation mix and mingle amongst their community to socialize with their peers? I have seen window visits. I have been involved with them on both sides and they can be difficult, especially to someone that is living with dementia. An open-air visit could be a huge benefit, with some precautionary measures.
Also, a COVID free family member that can come in to assist with their loved ones can offer huge benefits to the CNAs and other care staff, especially to their loved ones. I am the first one that wants our Seniors to be safe and healthy, but in order to improve their well-being, there needs to be more interactions with family and with each other. Experiencing isolation first hand with my healthy 23-year-old was hard and I know isolation is hard on our Seniors and families. Of course, we all want COVID to go away but until that occurs, we need to look at what’s best for the lives of our Seniors.
Luckily my son tested negative two weeks after his original positive test result and we celebrated with him cooking us a steak dinner, his favorite. He really missed cooking and interacting with us on a daily basis. He learned a lot during his isolation time, mostly not to take things for granted.
If you are going through this time of isolation away from your loved one that is residing in a Senior Living community, I commend you for all of your efforts to interact with them. I am praying and hoping that things start to change in a positive way. If we, at PAC, can support you in any way please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. PAC is offering a FREE 30-minute consult to anyone at firstname.lastname@example.org, schedule yours today. May you have a safe and healthy rest of 2020!
Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family. She joined PAC in 2016 after working at an assisted living community, in which she still visits and volunteers to see her friends. In her teenage years, her grandparents moved in with her family. She enjoyed spending time with them and helping them in many ways until they became sick. That is when she realized how much the older generation has to offer with their wisdom, their stories from years past, and valuing the time to share with others in this busy world we live in…take time to smell the roses.