Eldercare and COVID: Living with the virus

For our elders, their families and friends, and staff, it’s been a long two years. Loneliness during COVID outbreaks can and must be avoided.

I’m lucky to collaborate with brave innovative service partners like Whiddon Largs Residential Care who strive for the very best psychosocial outcomes for the elders in their care.

After fending it off for two years, Largs was inevitably visited by COVID. Initially, the entire service went into lockdown but visitation did allow one visitor for essential caring as per the support guidelines.

Gradually they were able to open each wing as they were cleared. But one wing remained isolated a bit longer. Last month, a number of elder buddies of mine were among those confined to that wing to restrict the spread.

Meet SM

While *SM didn’t get COVID she had to isolate from her fellow residents. After my usual weekly in-person sessions in other areas, the Largs team were quick to jump me back to the glass for some Window Therapy to engage some of the elders in the isolated wing at their windows.

The visit with SM was truly delightful. SM’s eyes burned so brightly and she wore a knockout smile. SM sang with me and danced. She marveled when she put her hand to the window and I traced around it with my pink marker.

She adored the A4-sized photos of my baby grandson as I held them up to the glass. And we laughed and smiled a lot. It was contagious.

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