2020 – A Lemon of a Year? Not for Everyone

by: Wendy Liebling, MSW, LSW, C-ASWCM

During the COVID lull in August of 2020 Anna transitioned from her longtime home to the Personal Care (PC) community that she had chosen as ideal for her needs, socially and otherwise. The initial weeks were everything Anna had hoped for and was thriving with her new friends and the opportunity to make connections. Most unfortunately after only 5 weeks after moving, the COVID uptick necessitated a lockdown and the newly forming relationships over communal meals and engagement that Anna had come to really enjoy, suddenly ceased. The quarantine was horrible for Anna, she was alone in this strange new place, she began returning to her former apartment, wishing she had never moved.

At this time, I met Anna, through our conversations, and in consultation with her family, I learned that she had a successful career as a marketing manager, and generating ideas are her strength. So as the quarantine progressed, we strategized to create opportunities for Anna to address the concerns and complaints that were contributing to her misery. With the support of a personal care aide, she embarked on a strategic email writing campaign to leadership at the Community to department heads and the Administrator to problem solve, which was followed up with a care planning meeting. These efforts resulted in successfully addressing two key issues that Anna was so frustrated with and contributed to a greater sense of control. More recently Anna has contributed two articles to the PC Community News that is distributed daily on wide ranging topics, mostly COVID related.

So, despite a very rocky COVID transition to Personal Care, Anna has dubbed herself the community Mayor, and is strengthened through her ability to not only problem solve for herself but to contribute to the greater good at the Community. This has given her a purpose and a connection to her new home. Fortunately, Anna has stopped retreating to her former home and has even published a missive in the local newspaper, and she’s on a roll.

Categories: Aging well