Please be assured that Bristol House is taking the coronavirus and COVID-19 threat very seriously. To keep residents and staff from contracting or spreading the coronavirus, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has advised senior living communities to temporarily suspend visitation to facilities — this includes Bristol House. For answers, call 215-491-1501 or click here to read more about our protective policies.
We may not realize it, but loneliness is a health risk. It is an emotional equivalent of physical pain, and even triggers the same responses in the brain. The feeling of loneliness and disconnectedness lets us know that we need to find companionship and security to remain emotionally healthy. Confusion can come easily to dementia patients, and the new circumstances surrounding the pandemic can reinforce the feeling of isolation that often accompanies this disease. Tragically, healthy older adults who experience prolonged feelings of isolation and loneliness can suffer related health consequences, such as premature death, heart disease, and stroke. More in keeping with our subject, older people who are lonely can be up to 20% more likely to develop dementia. This author has coined the word “pandementia” to categorize the effect the coronavirus is having on older adults with respect to cognitive performance.
Often after a medical emergency, someone will ask the patient what day or date it is, to test their mental orientation. They might ask who the president is or something similar in order to see if they are living in the moment. It is common for a dementia patient to repeatedly ask, “What time is it?” or “What day is it?” This can be frustrating for the caretaker or visitor. There are special clocks that can keep a person with dementia oriented and in the present moment. Here are some general introductions to the types of clocks available. An online search or consultation with an expert can produce some specific recommendations.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. However, there is growing evidence that this virus can remain airborne for longer times and further distances than originally thought. In addition to close contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces, there is a possibility that the spread of COVID-19 may also occur via airborne particles in indoor environments, in some circumstances beyond the 6-foot range encouraged by social distancing recommendations.
However, there are straightforward steps that can be taken to reduce potential airborne transmission of COVID-19.