Parents of school-age children have shared their stories about the stress they are facing working from home and parenting simultaneously; caregivers of loved ones with dementia are in an even more tenuous situation. With the elderly being at such high risk for complications of COVID-19, family members are often extra cautious, resulting in extreme quarantine and isolation. Resources for these families are limited; many stand-alone adult daycare programs are closed and respite programs are indefinitely halted. The result of this extended isolation with limited help, on both caregiver and the loved one they are caring for is proving to be devastating.
Iris Memory Care, however, has remained a resource for these families during the pandemic, admitting new residents after rigorous screening. Additional precautions such as staff screening, visitor limitations, masks and social distancing are strictly enforced. Unlike many nursing homes and other long-term care environments, Iris residents aren’t isolated to their rooms because of these strict safety precautions. Staff are working to engage residents in creative ways, such as starting a resident pen pal program with members of the community who have reached out. They are engaging in activities such as bowling, crafts, bingo, and trivia, which can be enjoyed as a group while allowing for social distancing within the Iris community. Follow their Facebook page, Iris Memory Care Turtle Creek, to see a bit of their efforts! The pictures can be an emotional lift during these times. Strict safety guidelines, as well as continual resident engagement ,serve to relieve the fears, grief and anxiety family members can face in finding care assistance for loved ones in today’s uncertain climate.