Memory Care in a Pandemic

By: HarborView Senior Assisted Living

What a strange world we are living in right now. People are stocking up on toilet paper and bottled water. Hospitals are overrun. Businesses are closed. Families are staying in their homes or venturing out for walks in remote places. Grocery delivery businesses are overrun. We are all somewhat isolated and quarantined. Many of us are scared. We are living a moment in history that will long be remembered, even if we wish we weren’t.

I’ve laid in bed the last several nights and thought about how this is all going to play out. I’ve cried, I’ve worried, I’ve laughed, I’ve researched ad nauseum. I’ve paid attention to how people are responding to it all. Some people are practicing hoarding and some people are practicing kindness. Some people are panicking and some are setting up volunteer sites. And some are doing a little bit of both.

For those of us who are well-fed and in a warm, safe home, it’s a fine line to walk between gratitude for all the ways we are safe and cared for and exhaustion and worry over all that’s hard. For those of us with elderly parents or loved ones, things feel even scarier. Will they be safe? Will they have enough food? What if they are in an assisted living home or struggle with memory? Are they being taken care of? Do they understand what’s happening?

It’s normal to feel scared. It’s normal to worry. It’s normal to laugh and dance and read good books. Most of us haven’t lived through a pandemic like this. We don’t know quite how it’s supposed to look or what we’re supposed to do. We’re all just figuring it out as we go. Most of us will feel some fear and some joy each day.

The most important thing is to find ways to care for yourself in the midst of so much unknown. Get dressed in the morning, exercise, get outside, eat healthy food, call loved ones. Keep a routine where you can. Don’t give in to numbing yourself. Take deep breaths and practice feeling your body in the present moment.

We will get up tomorrow and do it again. Let’s look back on this time and be proud of who we were in the chaos.

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