The COVID-19 pandemic has been hazardous to the mental health of many community members, and our senior citizens are no exception.
For many of those in senior living communities, suddenly, everything was different. Residents were confined to their rooms. Family visits were paused indefinitely. Meals now had to be eaten in solitude. These changes were frustrating and hard to understand.
But the team at Cascade Trails understands the devastation the pandemic can cause and is taking the initiative to prioritize the mental health of every single resident. How so? Through community.
A Community Surrounding You: How Cascade Trails Supports Seniors’ Mental Health During The Pandemic
In a time when the world feels like it’s upside down, who do you turn to? For most people, the answer would be family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Sometimes support comes from a familiar face in a doctor’s office waiting room, or even a stranger you chat with while you wait in line at the grocery store.
As the pandemic loomed over the Cascade community, everyone felt the effects of losing these everyday social interactions — big and small.
For seniors living in senior living communities like Cascade Trails, the pandemic meant all kinds of changes that were completely out of their control. Social distancing and general fear surrounding COVID-19 had many communities advising residents to remain in their rooms, and family visits were postponed indefinitely to keep residents and the community safe.
The community schedule full of activities, events, meals shared with friends and more were suddenly not possible. And for a population that thrives on routine, this change was more than just disruptive.
Discussions on mental health, words like anxiety and depression, were not as prevalent in the generation of seniors who are currently living in senior living communities. They did not grow up in a world where mental health and physical health were considered simultaneously. For many, that resulted in resistance to discussion or difficulty recognizing their own mental health struggles.
The truth is, mental health is not as stigmatized as it used to be, and for the staff at Cascade Trails, the physical and mental health of their residents is always their primary concern — especially amidst a global pandemic.
Cascade Trails, a partner of the Cascade Community Foundation, offers senior living services for seniors and families in the community. At Cascade Trails, seniors and families find care that fits their unique needs and a community of people to support them.
Even without a global pandemic, Cascade Trails has always been more than just a place to live. For seniors, their families and the community staff, Cascade Trails is truly a family. It’s a family where every resident knows they belong, they matter, and individual time is taken to get to know each one of them.
Who likes their coffee black? Who will smile the brightest during the community-hosted live concert? Who has the biggest collection of historic memorabilia to share? When community staff knows this much about their residents, it is easier to spot even small changes that may hint to a resident experiencing difficulties with their mental health — even if they don’t express it.
At Cascade Trails, staff experienced the effects of the pandemic right alongside their residents. Together, the community faced growing health concerns, increased isolation and numerous unknowns about the virus. Residents couldn’t hug their families or see their friends from church. Some missed birthday parties, holidays with family, the birth of grandchildren and more.
Naturally, these events took a toll on residents’ mental health. Though some of the difficulties were out of anyone’s control, that doesn’t mean that the community at Cascade Trails didn’t come together to make the best of the situation and improve life for their residents in any way they could.
With a lot of creative solutions — and even more love — the staff at Cascade Trails kept the resident smiling. They reimagine their days with social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions in place, and they found new, innovative ways to be there for residents.
Some of these ways included modified events, like outdoor parties, club meetings via phone, socially distanced games and more. The staff at the community created events that allowed them to say “yes, you can,” when the pandemic was forcing so many to say, “no, you can’t.”
In a beautiful way, residents found comfort in the care staff that supports them. And though they missed their families, residents knew the team at Cascade Trails were there to help them through it all. When the time finally came where families could return to see their loved ones living at Cascade Trails, the community staff cheered the loudest — and shed a tear or two — at the emotional reunions.
So much is still unknown about the future of the pandemic, but residents and families know they can rely on Cascade Trails to be there with them through it all.
Cascade Trails features a variety of community amenities that promote the highest-quality senior lifestyle. From chef-prepared meals to life enrichment activities, housekeeping, laundry services and more, everything at Cascade Trails is designed specifically with residents in mind.
The community offers a variety of care services, including assisted living and Moments Memory Care. With assisted living, residents receive 24/7 personalized care to help with daily activities, coordinating appointments, mobility assistance and more. For families, assisted living provides peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the absolute best care.
At Cascade Trails, Moments Memory Care is unique to the community. This service provides care from specially trained employees, intentional programming and unique community features designed to support those experiencing Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory impairments.
Coming spring of 2022, Cascade Trails will also offer independent living services. In a brand-new building, independent living will provide seniors with a maintenance-free lifestyle and convenient amenities to find their ideal retirement — whatever that means to them.
For more information on seniors’ mental health struggles and how Cascade Trails partners with the Cascade Trails Foundation, check out Grace Period – Managing Senior Mental Health Amid A Pandemic with Cascade Trails. In this recorded live stream, FOX17’s Deanna Falzone discusses mental health with a variety of senior care professionals, staff from Cascade Trails, and Cascade Trail residents and family members.
To discover more about how life at Cascade Trails could benefit you or your loved one or how the community supports residents’ mental health, call 616-366-9971 to speak with a Community Advisor today.
Cascade Trails is one of many local businesses and organizations that partner with Cascade Comunity Foundation to impact the Ada, Forest Hills, and Cascade communities. The Foundation’s Annual Partner Levels are available to businesses and families. Partners are acknowledged at all events, and most levels receive complimentary tickets to the 20th Anniversary Celebration. Annual Partner levels are available to individuals or families who have the option to be acknowledged at events, on social media, and on our website, be featured in an e-newsletter, and many more benefits.