You can probably list several things you’ve been doing lately to keep yourself healthy in the past few months: wearing a mask, frequent handwashing, and physical distancing. But what have you been doing for your mental health? Living through a pandemic is stressful. Scrolling through ever-updating information, worrying about you and your loved ones’ health, and being physically separated from your support system can all negatively affect your mental health.
These last few months have been a lonely time for many of us, as social distancing has kept us apart from family members, friends, and colleagues. The unfortunate reality is that an overwhelming number of older adults were already experiencing feelings of loneliness prior to the onset of COVID-19. According to Statistics Canada, as many as 1.6 million older adults in our country reported feeling lonely in 2016. With an increasing number of Canadians entering their senior years and social distancing being part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future, this issue is a growing area of concern.
Hospital stays can be tough for patients and families, and they became even more challenging when physical distancing and visitor restrictions came into effect this spring. But thanks to the extraordinary support of our community, we are bringing patients and families closer together — even while they are physically apart.
In the calm, relaxing environment of The Vic’s Zen Den lies a piece of paper full of positive, encouraging comments. Each comment reflects a staff member’s gratitude for both the Zen Den, a new area designed to help staff decompress while working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and The Vic’s new Well-being and Resiliency Project.
To improve the comfort of patients, The Vic Foundation activated free television service on all patient TVs at our hospital within hours of visitor restriction measures taking effect.