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Lessons from the resilience of older adults during the pandemic

This pandemic has hit us all hard, from younger children having to adapt to an at-home learning environment, to young adults changing their social activities to stay safe, to adults adapting to a new paradigm of working from home. But for older adults and elders in particular it has been especially difficult. Many of the activities that elder adults took for granted have been severely limited or even cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. Bingo nights are out. Bridge is out. Indoor dance classes, as well as something as simple as going to the movies, are all severely curtailed or even outright cancelled.

Older adults and elders, with their wealth of life experience and long history of adapting to changes in society and the world, have adapted especially well to the ongoing events of the pandemic. One of our clients berated her daughter for insisting on visiting her in Boston from Southern California (one of the hardest hit areas), taking the serious step of cancelling holiday visits in order to stay safe and healthy.

It’s difficult for many of us to adjust to this new (albeit temporary) way of life. With health concerns that can heighten our risk of complications from COVID-19 such as high blood pressure, weaker immune systems, and others, elder persons are especially at risk. But many of them have been handling it with grace and the appropriate level of concern.

At Senior Steps, our geriatric care managers are at the forefront of elder care and the pandemic. Our procedures have changed, our methods have adjusted, but we still work to be the best advocate for our clients and their health needs that we can. Some of clients feel more comfortable staying with an adult child during these times than their retirement community, and we have been able to facilitate health services for them to stay healthy and happy outside of a communal environment. Other clients of ours have needs that can’t be properly taken care of in the home of an adult child and so must stay in elder care facilities. Senior Steps, as the primary advocate for our clients’ health, thoroughly vets all of the living arrangements and social environments for all of our clients. In some cases we have had to act more forcefully on our clients behalf and for their safety, but our role as geriatric care managers is one of advocacy.

Older Adults, as one of the higher-risk groups during these ongoing events, have certainly faced challenges that many of us have not had to face. We can learn a lot from their resilience, their positive attitude, and their own dedication to their own health and well-being. We certainly learn a lot from our clients here at Senior Steps.

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