Seniors and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With head, heart and hand!

Public Health Care Orders are in place in Alberta to regulate self-isolation, physical distancing, and social gatherings. Also, these Orders are applicable to authorised nursing homes, supportive living, long-term care, and seniors lodge environments. See The Alberta Government Seniors may view life in these environments and self-isolation as being tantamount to imprisonment. Easton (2011), wrote “…isolation is one of the most destructive aspects of imprisonment” (p. 143). Much is known about the conditions that older prisoners experience and this has implications for seniors in these environments (Geary, 2015). See Amazon Canada

Seniors who lack confidence and have poor self-concepts may become confused about their personal identities and lack adequate coping skills. People in their 40’s-60’s + sometimes struggle to be generative rather than to stagnate. For example, often people like to make a difference in the world, through creative and meaningful works that survive long after they have passed on. Psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson wrote about these varying psychosocial stages of human development. Seniors could become pessimistic and lose hope that their life situations will improve particularly so with current trends and practices such as self-isolation and physical distancing.  Seniors could be prone to grief, loneliness, the depletion of their personal finances and have safety concerns (Stoukides, Holzer, Ritzau & Burbank, 2006). They may experience contextual and developmental crises that are marked by the loss of intimate partners, degenerative health conditions and loss of work status. These kinds of losses may be exacerbated during this period. Seniors under these circumstances could be at risk of self-harming (Crighton, 2006; Shaw & Humber, 2010; Snow, 2006).

Seniors often are strengthened with their families’ encouragement to have a suitable diet and to exercise. They benefit when family and friends physically check up on them.  Social isolation could have a detrimental effect upon both their family relationships and personal friendships. It can be costly for seniors to maintain and develop connections with their families and friends. Contact with family members may, of course, have both positive and negative implications. For example, families can help seniors to have a sense of identity which is not defined solely by their accomplishments in life. Seniors may become despondent and stressed about the suffering that their family members and friends who are away from them may be experiencing. Strong social connections can help them to cope with a loss of social status in their advancing years (Aday, 2003; Phillips, 2006).

Seniors may experience or fear that they will have significant health problems including diseases and that they are likely to be at a high risk of infection from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Their fears and uncertainties are often worsened when they have failing physical and cognitive processes, and long-term disabilities. Moreover, they may already have respiratory and breathing diseases, disturbing thoughts, trauma and dementia. Also, they could suffer from arthritis, cardiac and hypertensive disorders, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. Seniors may have heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines, and urinary tract conditions. These could lower senior’s immunity to infection (Aday, 2003; 2006; Aday & Krabill, 2011; Wahidin & Cain, 2006). Seniors may live in conditions with inadequate temperature controls and lighting. The Trident Foundation was established as a not for profit organization and has helped seniors, individuals, employees, families, and the disadvantaged since 1998.

The images in the slideshow on this page mainly show the Bow Valley in Alberta. You can use the Trident Mediation, Counseling, Arts and Supports Foundation’s (“Trident Foundation’s”) materials in your projects (online videos (i.e. Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, …), websites, animations, Royalty Free provided that you credit the Trident Foundation (in the description). For example, Audiovisual materials: Trident Foundation 

The Trident Foundation is only a chat, contact form or phone call away!

1-403-678-2918 (AB)

1- 250-208-8537 (BC)

1-541-224-6144 (OR)

61-2-6172-1264 (ACT)

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