Aging Well

Aging Well

Attacking social isolation among seniors

Posted July 17, 2020 3:10 p.m. EDT

Apex mayor dancing for residents at Cambridge VIllage in Apex

What relevance do dinosaurs dancing on the lawn beneath residents on balconies at Cambridge Village at Apex have during a global pandemic?

They provide laughter, entertainment and opportunities for connection.

Even before the pandemic, social isolation was identified as the number one public health crisis of the decade among the elderly. Now in the pandemic, effects of this crisis have multiplied—especially for those living alone.

Some communities, like Cambridge Village, and neighborhoods, like Historic Oakwood, are figuring out work-arounds—ways to bring joy and connection, while also preventing exposure to infection.

We are three days into the second three-week extension of Phase 2 of the reopening of North Carolina. I don’t know a single person who is not revving their engines to get out of close quarters.

However, the reality is that, even after we do graduate to Phase 3 and whatever comes after Phase 3, and even once we have a vaccine and after the majority of Americans have been vaccinated, life will never simply return to the way things were.

Given that hard reality, how can we live fully within the necessary constraints? How do we stay connected and safe?

Cambridge Village is developing their response which, in addition to performances beneath people's balconies, includes these other activities:

  • Drum Circle with Matt Savage
  • Handbell Choir with Martine Bullard, Neurologic Music Therapist (starts back in August)
  • Body & Brain Training class once a week
  • Strength, Mobility, Gentle Yoga fitness classes
  • Balloon Volleyball with Pool Noodles (2x/mo)
  • Clay Trippers, mobile ceramic studio
  • Lunch In, rather than Lunch out… they order from favorite Lunch Out restaurants and eat together in the Café

No one would choose to have things be this way, but here we are. How do you work within this new world?

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