Has the past year of lockdowns and quarantines caused you or someone you love to feel isolated, withdrawn, or depressed? I have seen firsthand the negative effects the pandemic has caused for many seniors in our area. While isolation and quarantines were designed to keep people safe, there have been unintended consequences. Decreased communication, decline in physical mobility, generalized weakness, loss of interest in hobbies, lack of motivation, feelings of sadness, and anxiety have been observed in the geriatric population. How can you help someone bounce back?
First, let me start by sharing that JoyCARE, Inc. is a business I started eight years ago to help senior adults maximize their independence and safety. JoyCARE provides lifestyle enhancement services for senior adults. We strive to maintain the emotional and physical well-being of our clients and improve their quality of life. We work with individuals in residential homes as well as senior living facilities including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and independent living communities in the area.
I am a licensed and registered occupational therapist with over 20 years’ experience treating the geriatric population. I have worked at Methodist Rehabilitation Center and served as Director of Rehab at several assisted living communities in our area. Our team includes physical therapists and occupational therapists who have valuable experience working with senior adults.
JoyCARE is unique because we offer the benefits of skilled professionals who provide the attention and services that maximize the independence and safety of our clients. We are not a sitter service. JoyCARE helps clients with life skills such as grooming, dressing, and feeding tasks. We also help promote an active lifestyle through encouraging gentle exercises, taking clients on walks, and involving them in activities that require movement.
Another emphasis of JoyCARE is to help improve mental alertness through playing games that stimulate thought processes and using activities to help increase attention, sequencing, problem solving, and memory. We also assist our clients with organization in their current living environment by helping declutter, removing fall hazards, organizing closets, and managing appointments.
Although there are many important areas we address, the one area that has had the greatest impact on our clients is that of companionship. There is no app, no computer program, no substitute for genuine one on one, face-to-face interaction between people. It has been amazing to see the difference in the countenance and mood of our clients prior to a JoyCARE visit as compared to their demeanor following a visit.
Many times when we arrive, a person is alone, somewhat depressed, and even a bit anxious. After just a few minutes of meaningful face-to-face conversation, an encouraging pat on the back, a simple hug, or just holding someone’s hand and listening to them talk, the transformation we see is something truly special and almost hard to define. This uninterrupted, undivided, uniquely personal attention given to another person is truly the best medicine for depression, feelings of isolation, and hopelessness. Not only does it quickly improve the mood of our clients, but also meaningful conversation is often recommended by many physicians to aid in decreasing the rate of cognitive decline.
As you can see, JoyCARE is a service that can focus on helping senior adults in many areas of their life from physical deficits to cognitive decline. In addition to helping those impacted by negative effects of the recent quarantines, could the act of a simple face-to-face conversation and companionship with another person possibly extend their years? According to recent studies, socializing can have a positive biological impact, as well as, a positive psychological impact on a person’s health.
When someone engages in meaningful and uplifting conversation, studies have shown a decrease in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart rate. Another benefit is that companionship can lower feelings of isolation-related depression.
Yet another important benefit to strong relationships with others was documented in a recent Harvard School of Public Health study. It found that strong social connections can help preserve brain health throughout the aging process, and social isolation may be an important risk factor for cognitive decline and impairment in the geriatric population.
Therefore, according to medical studies, conversation and companionship is beneficial to the physical, emotional, and cognitive health of the elderly. However, it is one thing to read about it in a study and quite a different thing to experience it personally. JoyCARE is the only service of its kind. We are different from the care services you have experienced in the past.
Give us a try and you will soon see. The personal attention provided by JoyCARE combined with the professionalism of our staff will be a welcome surprise in our world of a one size fits all approach.
To hear laughter and see a smile lets us know we are doing our job. As stated in Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” This verse is the theme for JoyCARE.
If you are seeking a premier provider of care for you or someone you know that delivers superior service, please call Jennifer Joy Bird at 601-573-6344 for a free initial consultation.