Loneliness and social isolation is a major issue being faced right now by older adults with COVID-19 still very much active in BC.
Jenae Pedersen is a fourth-year nursing student at UNBC who brought it to light by creating a video on the topic.
While doing her rotation in Burns Lake, she noticed a drop in participation and a lack of social connection due to the increased measures.
“It’s quite evident that people are declining not only physically but cognitively as well, we can see that it exacerbates cognitive decline, which is very concerning as we want to enhance the independence of our older adults.”
“It was quite sad to witness but it also got me thinking about the older adults from before the pandemic may not have had a social connection. Therefore, this is a huge and very important issue for our communities to recognize.”
Pedersen added the restrictions impacted cognitive declines as family members and friends were unable to visit during the peak of the pandemic.
“I saw a decrease in participation and it was quite evident that people’s levels of happiness may have gone down or their willingness to connect socially because there is such a lack of it.”
Pedersen will continue her studies at UNBC later this month.
At the end of the June, the BC Government eased restrictions around visits to long term care facilities, allowing for one visitor per resident in a designated area following a three-and-a-half-month stoppage.
The new regulations don’t apply to facilities currently in an outbreak, there must be designated screening staff, there will be indoor and outdoor spaces for meeting, visitors must also book in advance and wear a mask.