The restrictions announced in the past weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have certainly had an impact amongst the most vulnerable in our society. Many senior citizens have been left isolated in their homes and as result are experiencing loneliness in silence. This can happen even with elderly in care homes who are now not having visitors and may find themselves alone in their rooms just waiting for the day to go by.
Dr Christian Borg Xuereb, Senior Lecturer of Gerontology and Dementia Studies at the University of Malta claims that people who feel in isolation from relatives and loved ones are at higher risk of mortality due to the adverse physiological effects related to loneliness and solitude. As a result, he believes that communication through the use of various mediums is key to combat these risks. One of these ways is to focus on day plans or expressing oneself through crafts to unleash creative potentials.
At Simblija Care Home, we quickly understood that distance from loved ones at this time could be detrimental to the psychological wellbeing of our residents. As a result, thanks to the proactive approach adopted, we revisited our daily activity schedule and refined it to ensure that residents are kept busy throughout the whole day. A weekly plan is put together and given to all the residents in their rooms in order that they may have something to look forward to and to give structure to their day.
A substantial number of craft mornings were added to help residents think and act creatively. Crafts for seniors come with a variety of health benefits which go beyond lifting the psychological impacts of current circumstances. They also aid in achieving improved cognitive ability, reduce pain and stress, strengthen the immune system, decrease the risk of cognitive impairment, improve motor skills as well as help to lower blood pressure.