During this unusual time, it is important to remember to care for yourself and make sure that you are getting enough daily rest, nutrition and exercise to remain healthy and in good spirits. Family members and caregivers know that self-care is one of the things that we tend to do the least.
As part of the initial intake process for the day program, we have started asking caregivers the following question: “What makes your loved one laugh, or what made them laugh in the past?” Some might think that this is an odd question, but forging strong relationships with our clients (and caregivers) is integral to our purpose at McCormick Dementia Services. If staff members know what might make a new client laugh, it could help build a trusting relationship.
During a time of crisis, it can be challenging to maintain good mental health and coping strategies when feelings of stress surface. It is a time of uncertainty and a time we have been taken out of our normal, daily routines and thrust into the unknown. It can be challenging to keep up our feelings of hope and resiliency.
McCormick Dementia Research is participating in a research study with Carleton University, who is looking to identify infection risks associated with the design of shared workspaces at long-term care homes and how to create safer working environments for staff to prevent the spread of infection during viral outbreaks.
Social isolation (being alone), and loneliness (feeling alone) are well-known risk factors for poor health outcomes. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers were becoming increasingly concerned with high rates of loneliness and social isolation reported across Europe, the United States and China, particularly in the older adult population.