Patience & Kindness During Isolation in Assisted Living
- July 17, 2020
Everyone needs patience and kindness as we continue to deal with isolation in Assisted Living in Kansas City.
Moving into an Assisted Living or Memory Support community has its challenges and its rewards. Leaving home and making a transition is enormous, and families are there to provide support and encouragement.
Typically, resident care is a combination of the individual resident, staff, and family members. Residents are always encouraged to be as active as possible, and there are many activities of daily living that they can accomplish themselves. In addition, the staff is there to provide the support and assistance needed.
Families have always been an essential element in well-rounded care. They provide emotional support, visitations, financial, and bookkeeping assistance. Families might run errands or take the resident out to appointments or social gatherings. Families have always been an important piece of resident life.
Now we are continuing to deal with no visitation rules.
These no visitation policies in assisted living communities have caused a great deal of frustration for residents and families. And it is not unusual to feel like you’re at the end of your rope. Tensions are running high everywhere, and the emotional toll is high for everyone.
The rationale behind these visiting restrictions is sound. The first obligation of any facility is too to keep residents safe. With the early failure around the country, it became apparent that Elders needed the highest levels of protection. Not only are they more vulnerable to the tragic effects of the COVID-19 virus, but any communal living setting is easy prey for the unseen enemy.
There is a profound psychological impact.
The psychological impact of the quarantine is dramatic. Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainly about the future, and boredom create dramatic effects. Depression, substantial anger and legal battles are on the rise. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.
As states and local governments begin to test the waters of loosening regulations, it has become apparent there is a severe cost to pay. It is a risk that cannot be tolerated in Senior Living Communities.
Waiting for a vaccine or cure takes an enormous amount of patience and understanding.
What started as a mere interruption of normal activities has turned into a frightening scenario with no visible end.
Dr. Tsatiris, a practicing Board Certified psychiatrist that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, says this condition can be aptly called burnout.
Burnout symptoms include:
- Feelings of detachment or apathy
- A high level of dissatisfaction
- A reduced sense of accomplishment
- Reduced performance at work or home
- Emotional exhaustion
- Increased levels of irritability
A time for kindness
Families feel this frustration daily, and irritability is not uncommon. Although there are many noncontact ways to stay in touch and provide support, it is not the same as a face to face visit and a hug shared with your loved one. It is not uncommon for the frustration to be transferred to their loved ones or taken out on others, like staff.
This is a time for maximum self-control and empathy. The quarantine affects everyone and no one is happy about the situation. Administration and nursing staff have to abide by the regulations and do their best to comfort and console residents. Anger directed at them, although understandable, is sometimes misplaced.
Being kind to others also means being kind to yourself. Understanding the incredibly stressful time we are going through allows us to understand our own feelings of inadequacy and forgive ourselves.
The only way through this is with grace, patience, kindness, and understanding. Everyone involved will benefit from kindness!