5617 NW 7TH ST. MIAMI FL 33126-3216
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Solutions to reduce loneliness and improve quality of life in the elderly affected by social isolation, because of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to have a long-term impact on older adults’ physical and mental health. Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) house almost 1 million residents in the United States (CDC, 2019). Elderly residents in ALFs are particularly vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 in terms of morbidity and mortality due to the proximity in which they live, eat, and socialize.

Due to the pandemic, ALFs facilities have had to isolate all residents from others within the facility and outsiders.  All social activities designed to maintain health had to cease to prevent the spread of the virus. The pandemic’s duration and devastation have resulted in increased strains on employees and existing resources, particularly in facilities serving low-income residents. Because of prolonged social isolation, mental health issues such as loneliness and depression are evolving. Social isolation is emerging as the second public health crisis. Facilities struggle to determine how to provide residents safely and efficiently with opportunities to engage in social activities.

There are many emerging programs attempting to assist the elderly with social isolation. Some programs are using technology as a resource. Most programs that implement technological solutions, particularly for low-income and elderly populations, have encountered a lack of technical infrastructure and inadequate training and support in the use of technology. Other programs encourage volunteers to engage with the elderly more traditionally, via phone calls or letters. The most important thing is that facilities are proactive in addressing this issue and keeping their residents mentally and socially active while being cautious and making sure that what they implement is safe and consistent with federal, state, and local agency guidelines.

At Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon, they are aware that current conditions of social isolation and lack of activity may be a contributing factor for loneliness among their residents. Residential Plaza has adopted different strategies to tackle social isolation like the design and implementation of a Modified Wellness Program, the distribution of information regarding the various helplines available in the community. It has fostered partnerships with organizations like FIU (Students Care Program), PenPals for Life, and the University of Miami (PRISM Program) to connect and bring care for their residents.

Admissions are welcome. Residential Plaza is committed to providing an affordable home with assisted living services that allow older adults to live in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. For more information visit: www.residentialplaza.com.