While the holidays can be a lonely time for older people, with strict restrictions around visitors to care homes, the impact of loneliness could be devastating for many people this year - but a local charity is determined to help out.
Mind Jersey have been making use of technology and 'Zooming' into care homes over the festive period to help residents stay connected.
While the short-term impact of the outbreak of covid-19 is becoming more and more obvious, the staff at Mind Jersey have voiced concerns regarding the potential long-term and profound impact on older adults’ health and wellbeing.
Social isolation and loneliness - which are likely to be the biggest impacts - are major risk factors linked to poor physical and mental health status.
Mind Jersey have developed a 'Wellbeing Wednesday' initiative in order to address those issues specifically. Using innovative technology-based interventions, such as Zoom, the intiative hopes to improve social connections by developing wellbeing groups within care homes and begin to identify and support social isolation and loneliness.
Pictured: The 'Wellbeing Wednesday' sessions will be held online on Zoom.
Elaine Jackson, Head of Stuart Court Care Home, highlighted the additional difficulties that care homes have faced due to covid-19. “The pandemic has been challenging in so many ways - and for many in care homes, it has felt like being on the front line of a catastrophe," she said.
"Throughout these challenging times, as human beings, we have been there for each other. At Stuart Court we have endeavoured to keep spirits high, helping everyone to navigate through uncertainty.
"Now, as we enter the Christmas period, we are once more having to be creative with our schedules and activities, thinking about how to have parties without guests, open presents while keeping a distance, enjoy a carol concert remotely. We are delighted to work with Mind Jersey via zoom and bring some festive wellbeing groups to the table.”
Kelly Kennedy, a resident at St. Ewolds residential home, praised the initiative: “Wellbeing Wednesday Zoom calls are a fantastic way to help combat the impact of the pandemic on loneliness and isolation in care homes this Christmas”.
Pictured: Mind Jersey's Executive Director, Dr Tricia Tumelty.
Dr Tricia Tumelty, Executive Director of Mind Jersey, added: “Our vision is of an island that promotes and protects mental health for all individuals at all ages and stages of life. Just as Santa comes down the chimney Mind Jersey plan to pass parcels of hope and wellbeing into care homes this Christmas!”
Mind Jersey are encouraging care homes to get in contact with them if they would like to be involved in this project.
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