(Excerpted for space allowance)
To Whom it may Concern:
Did you know one out of six seniors over the age of 80 years has a dementia diagnosis? That ratio increases by 50% every five years. Certain health conditions can worsen symptoms or increase chances of developing dementia. As residents of a Skilled Nursing Facility, the statistics are stacked against us in terms of longevity. It is a well-known fact that social isolation has negative side effects.
We have been isolated from our families and friends for almost 6 months and are experiencing some of the adverse side effects of loneliness and depression. Issues such as, but not limited to, loss of physical mobility, cognition, and increased expressions of needs. Seniors do not have the luxury of time.
Every meal is eaten alone, every puzzle is done alone, church service is spent alone; every major and minor life event is spent alone. “There is now considerable evidence showing that loneliness and depression are inseparable, and that loneliness increases the risk for depression”, per Loneliness: Clinical Import and Interventions from PubMed Central archive.
At this point in time we want the CHOICE to live our lives. Our lives would be vastly improved through maintaining our current mental and physical status via small group activities and small social exchanges with each other in our home.
Our proposal is as follows: two small group activities per day to maintain our current physical and mental levels. Activities would be held in an open space where we can benefit from interacting, while socially distanced with masks on. We want to spend time with our ‘family’ as our inevitable decline physically and mentally looms on the horizon.
We HAVE to live, so let us enjoy the life we have left!