If there ever was a time that challenged us as humans to embrace social connection, it is the year 2020, and the time spent coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
Humans, because of necessity, evolved into social beings. Dependence on and cooperation with each other enhanced our ability to survive under harsh environmental circumstances. (Pyschology Today) I think it is safe to say coronavirus has created harsh conditions, to say the least! Technology has allowed us to connect with loved ones from a distance, but can often leave us still aching for the true connection, and ability to lean on others as we once felt in person. There is no substitute for a proper hug, squeeze, or hand hold. Many of us will have to relearn what connection means to us and how we achieve it in this current environment, as in person connection remains extremely limited.
A main goal at Insight is to provide not only a sense of community to our participants and families, but actual meaningful connection as a way of meeting their social needs.
What is Social Health and Connection?
Social health is an umbrella term that embraces an array of concepts reflecting human capacities to participate in social life such as reciprocity and dignity. (Vernooij-Dassen et al., 2011) An accumulation of three decades of psychosocial research on dementia care has revealed the power of social engagement, environmental support, and utilizing remaining capabilities of the person with dementia. The research breaks down better sleep patterns, improved mood, lower levels of depression and so on and so forth. Witnessing the power of the social connection that Insight provides, I can testify to all of the above.
Making participants feel needed, empowered, and important is evident in the programming we offer. It our goal to honor the entire participant. We respect each person’s limitations, whatever they may be, and which are often very different from person to person. We also amplify the person’s abilities, by developing adapted activities suited for each person’s level of functioning. As debilitating as dementia can be, values, interests and the need to belong, remain. The physical and cognitive challenges resulting from dementia, can make this extremely challenging. However, with the right team and community behind you, you and your loved one can feel the same sense of belonging. A great place to start at insight is with our:
We are here to support YOU and connect with you. We call ourselves the Insight family, and we mean it. Until we can hug again, let us be creative in our conversations, and allow authenticity in our struggles and challenges with connecting in a now virtual world.
Katelyn Sloan is the Marketing Director at Insight Memory Care Center.