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Loneliness Can Be Deadly

woman looking out windowThe COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Lehigh Valley as hard as any place in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. To some, the lockdowns and restrictions are a mere annoyance; to others, it has been life-changing. For a small, yet equally human, portion of the population, not only is the virus physically dangerous — the isolation imposed upon seniors to protect them can be psychologically harmful as well.

While South Mountain Memory Care takes all possible precautions to protect our residents, staff, and visitors, we also provide an environment of 24/7 personal care and attention, and we get to know the residents and their loved ones personally.

According to a Washington Post investigation, 13,200 more vulnerable adults with dementia died during lockdowns than expected, based on previous years.1 Doctors have reported increases in falls, pulmonary infections, depression, and sudden frailty in patients who have been stable for years.

Socializing and other forms of mental stimulation can help slow down the onset and progress of dementia. The very isolation that is meant to protect patients and other seniors from the virus can contribute to feelings of being trapped and doomed. For those who cannot understand what is going on, there can be much confusion. Often, the activities that give people stimulation and a sense of worth have been postponed or eliminated, and the familiar world changes too much and too quickly.

Interestingly, many seniors, especially those without cognitive issues, have coped with COVID-19 better than younger adults. Their accumulated years of wisdom and experience have enabled them to handle difficult times with greater psychological stability. They have weathered storms and have survived.

Thankfully, our area is returning to normal, albeit a new normal. Restrictions have eased, there are more opportunities for contact socialization, and medicines bring new hope. Older folks can help themselves by mentoring and guiding the younger adults through difficult times.

South Mountain Memory Care focuses on high-quality, personalized care. South Mountain Memory Care is proud to offer a wide range of resident-focused daily activity programming to our residents. Each neighborhood offers activity space for group and one-on-one activities.

The brand-new building is a stand-alone memory care community, meaning that the entire building, staff, and programs, are designed to serve residents with cognitive issues. To ensure person-centered care and attention, we have accommodations for up to 28 residents. The building is divided into two neighborhoods (wings), each offering 10 private suites and 2 semi-private suites. South Mountain Memory Care is located in the Allentown suburb of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and is easily accessible from the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For more information, go to


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