School of Nursing
long-term care, covid-19, pandemic, mental health, isolation, elderly, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia
Yates, Christina, "The Effect of Isolation on the Mental Health of Older Adults" (2022). Senior Honors Theses. 1230.
As individuals age and lose mobility and cognitive functioning, many require full-time care which their loved ones are unable to provide. This often results in placement into long-term care facilities, and these facilities are notorious for being understaffed. Physical health becomes the only priority, depriving the client of having their mental and emotional needs fulfilled. Family and friends may decrease visitation due to distance or convenience. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic closed the doors of many facilities to nearly all visitors. Thus, the only individuals the residents of these facilities experienced interaction with were overworked staff members looking intimidating in their personal protective equipment (PPE). This led to accelerated physical and mental decline. Continuing research is essential to discover strategies to curb this decline as the world struggles to return to normal and to prevent similar deterioration in the event that there is a resurgence of Covid-19 or future pandemics.