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610-929-5751

51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

SacredHeartVillaPA.org

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COVID-19 Restrictions Breed Loneliness

Women playing checkers outsidePeople in the Greater Reading Area, as well as much of the rest of the country, are developing what might be called “COVID Fatigue.” We are getting tired of the worries and restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the current spike in COVID cases, fears and fatigue are increasing. One of the biggest concerns is social distancing, which keeps us inside and away from our families and friends. This isolation is of special concern to older adults. According to a recent poll, 56% of people over age 50 said they felt socially isolated, compared with 27% in a poll taken before the pandemic. Seniors feel more isolated and have less interaction with friends, neighbors, and family — people outside their usual “bubble” — than before the virus. This sense of — and actual — isolation are especially prominent in the lives of people who live in healthcare and retirement communities.

A sense of loneliness can prevent seniors from engaging in whatever healthy activities are still available to them. This includes getting outdoors, exercising, and engaging with nature. Many do take advantage of technological means of contact, such as social media and video chatting. This form of communication is not as satisfying as face-to-face contact, but it does help to alleviate feelings of isolation.

“As the pandemic continues, it will be critical to pay attention to how well we as a society support the social and emotional needs of older adults,” said John Piette, professor at the U-M School of Public Health who worked with the poll team. “The intersection of loneliness and health still needs much study, but even as we gather new evidence, all of us can take time to reach out to older neighbors, friends and relatives in safe ways as they try to avoid the coronavirus.” We at Sacred Heart Villa take the current crisis seriously, constantly striving to maintain a safe, healthy environment for our residents.

Each day, residents have the option to participate in numerous activities, including games, events, mass, and other activities. Residents also enjoy themselves in our library, beauty salon, lounges, social hall, and outdoor gardens. Our residents may not be able or willing to venture outside the grounds, but they are not at all isolated. We are a community, and our dedicated staff provides loving care and attention, meeting the health, nutrition, and other physical needs of our residents.

Currently, there are opportunities for cautious visitation, and we will continue to follow all recommended guidelines. So, rest assured that your loved ones are being cared for and are not alone.

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.

The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café, and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or a loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit us at sacredheartvillapa.org.