Mount Vernon Adult Day Health Care participants, Barbie and Catherine, are BFFs. When the service needed to temporarily close its doors due to the pandemic, the two women were separated.
They remained apart, hunkered down with their families in different Alexandria neighborhoods. Their families adhered to guidelines to keep the ladies socially distanced and safe. Six long months have gone by, and, other than the occasional Zoom call, they have remained separated.
Until last week.
Recreation Therapist Lorie Spears organized a ‘play date’ for the two ladies. They met up at Barbie’s house and enjoyed tea, a snack, and conversation.
“They picked up right where they left off,” said Carolyn Leon, Barbie’s daughter-in law. “Smiling, laughing, and completely engaged.”
The caregivers agreed that the ladies would be face mask-free to make it easier for them to communicate. Given that Barbie and Catherine have been in strict quarantine since the pandemic hit, their families were comfortable with this decision.
“The sad reality is that older adults are more likely to experience isolation under normal circumstances. That is why Adult Day Health Care is so important. We help people forge social connection. It has been difficult during the pandemic to continue this, but we are doing our best with virtual meet-ups and helping to organize safe get-togethers like this one, when appropriate,” said Ingrid Parkhurst, center nurse coordinator, Mount Vernon Adult Day Health Care.
Adult Day Health Care has a full calendar of virtual programming. Older adults who are in need of social connection – particularly those who might have some memory issues or physical limitations that prevent complete independent living – are invited to join. Go to the Virtual Center for Active Adults for a schedule of virtual activities.