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51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

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COVID-19 and Mental Health Among Seniors

We Got This SeniorsAs the COVID epidemic continues to spread in the Berks County / Reading area, the world shares the same concerns as our area: How do this virus and the attendant restrictions affect senior populations? Ageism plays a part in the reaction to the situation, surprisingly in a few positive ways. One outcome has been that the effect on mental health has had less of a negative impact on the elderly than on younger adults. Considering the higher and more severe physical risk to seniors, this is surprising. Why?

Studies show that older adults are managing the stress of the coronavirus pandemic better than younger adults, reporting less depression and anxiety despite also experiencing greater general concern about COVID-19. Although all populations are showing greater psychological stress during the pandemic, the accumulation of years seems to provide a buffer against negative feelings. Older adults tend to have more positive moods and are happier and more satisfied with life, despite the propensity toward more serious complications from COVID. They are realistic about the dangers but better able to handle their emotions.

Because of the risks, seniors are likely taking more precautions and practicing more preventive behaviors than younger adults. One factor in their resiliency was quality social connections and access to socialization and a healthy environment. Sacred Heart Villa is one such community that provides opportunities for social interaction, nutritious meals, and a safe, carefree environment. The Villa staff takes every precaution for the safety and wellbeing of our beloved residents. We strive to make living as stress-free as possible.

Studies have shown that the wisdom and prosocial skills accumulated during a long life help add to emotional stability. Many seniors can fight the loneliness that comes with isolation with an increased capacity for empathy and compassion, emotional regulation, the ability to self-reflect, decisiveness while accepting uncertainty and diversity of perspectives, social advising, and spirituality.

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/.

*NOTE: This article is intended for informational purposes only; nothing in this content is to be considered medical advice. Please contact your medical providers for expert medical assistance.