In a recent article published in the Elder Update, Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs monthly newsletter, Darcy Abbott, MSW, LCSW, Florida Division of Emergency Management, highlighted the great need to prioritize and understand the mental health impacts on our seniors “after a disaster.”
Abbott writes, “Disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or a hurricane, do not discriminate where they occur or who they target. When disasters strike, local and individual mental health resources can be affected and unable to provide immediate relief to those experiencing distress. Disasters can take a toll on mental health – and it’s important to prioritize the mental health recovery process the same way we prioritize the physical recovery process.”
“During the initial phase of a disaster we can experience fear, shock, panic, suffer from disbelief, or feel disoriented. The type and size of a disaster can affect how long the recovery process may be, and the desire to return to a sense of normalcy can cause feelings of anger, frustration, or depression. These are normal responses to coping with an abnormal event. Recovery is the most challenging phase of dealing with the reality of a disaster. During recovery, it’s important to maintain resiliency.”
Too often our busy lives prevent us from recognizing that many of our cognitively challenged, elderly family members may require a little extra attention to make sense of what is happening in the environment around them. At Victoria Landing Assisted Living and Memory Care, our seniors receive that extra attention from our professional and compassionate staff to ensure they always feel mentally and physically safe.
Regardless of age, just watching the evening news with repeated updates on the pandemic, social unrest or even weather disasters can be disheartening and frightening. In the same ways we need to reassure and hear our children’s concerns in times of catastrophe, we need to do the same for our parents and grandparents. The toll calamity or upheaval can take on our seniors is exacerbated as they often experience age-related fear, anxiety, disorientation, incredulity, or depression.
TAKE ACTION TOWARD RECOVERY
Ms. Abbott provides some simple yet important tips to support your loved one experiencing discontent or worse during and after a disaster:
- Take care of physical health
- Eat nutritious meals, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, exercise daily, and practice deep breathing
- Connect with nature, get outside if able to
- Talk to trusted friends and family and do an activity that is fun every day
- Prioritize and focus on what you can control and make a gratitude list
- Take advantage of professional support if needed
At Victoria Landing, we place each of these important suggestions into practice. To us, our residents are not necessarily ‘patients.’ They and their caregivers become special and beloved friends and family whom we work with closely to provide an appropriate and safe lifestyle promoting physical, emotional, cognitive, and social wellbeing and independence.
Our staff are experts in the total wellness of our senior family members and monitor their physical health with 24-hour assistance, respectful consideration of varying abilities, and professionalism. Nutrition is a cornerstone of our provision of services with three gourmet chef-prepared healthy meals provided daily in accordance with individual dietary requirements. Victoria Landing is located on the banks of the serene Indian River with shade-covered walking paths throughout the secure property. Residents and their visitors can become one with nature, soak up the sunshine or bask in the shady coolness of the grounds. Socialization is abundant at Victoria Landing with fun group activities (on and off-site), supervised excursions, and one-on-one opportunities to just visiting with our dedicated personnel and other residents, within each individual’s comfort level.
HELP IS JUST A PHONE CALL OR CLICK AWAY
At Victoria Landing’s Assisted Living and Memory Care located in Melbourne, FL you will find special incentives to help your loved ones fulfill a quality physical and mental wellness lifestyle with dignity, grace, and reverence. For a limited time, we are waiving the standard $3,000 assisted living community fee and paying for your loved one’s move-in costs up to $500.
Contact us at Victoria Landing, Brevard County’s premier assisted living community, today to learn more about how we provide happiness, health, and heart for our seniors like no one else can provide.