Social Distancing and Depression

Everyone is inundated with information about the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most important means of containing the coronavirus is to engage in social distancing.

Earlier today, I found out that I will no longer be allowed to see my regular caseload of nursing home residents at one of the homes where I provide psychological services. This found me thinking about the profound implications of isolation.

The majority of the residents whom I see are struggling with varying degrees of depression, for a wide variety of reasons. Many have encountered major losses in their lives. Most of them are dealing with multiple chronic medical conditions.

By our very nature, we are social creatures. We need to connect with others in a meaningful way, on an extended basis. Residents in nursing homes are extremely lonely, and highly vulnerable to the negative effects of social isolation.

I’m working with the nursing home staff to establish remote sessions with my residents. I strongly believe that they need psychological services more than ever right now.

After all, they are no longer allowed to have their family members and/or friends visit them. Many are feeling overwhelmed by the numerous changes that have been enacted in nursing homes, including being quarantined to their rooms.

Of course, elderly residents face potentially fatal consequences if they should contract the coronavirus. I look forward to the provision of supportive services for this most vulnerable of populations.

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