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I recently came across a wonderful quotation that really struck a chord with me, in light of the current health pandemic and state of emergency. “When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘WE’, even illness becomes wellness” ~ Malcom X. An excellent reminder that even though we have to maintain physical distance from our loved ones in order to stay safe, now is the time for us to stay connected and stand strong, together.

As a healthcare worker, I have seen firsthand the difference that a simple phone call or a facetime video chat can make to someone who is sick or vulnerable. Hearing a loved one’s voice or seeing a family member’s smile can brighten one’s day and their perspective. A positive outlook creates stronger resolve and the determination to persevere in the face of great difficulties.

One of our long-time clients has been maintaining physical distance from her family because her age and underlying health conditions make her very vulnerable to CoVid19. She understands that staying isolated is the safer option for her, but she misses seeing her children, taking part in her church community and having friends over for tea. The physical distance had begun to take its toll and she had been going through cycles of loneliness and mild depression.

With some help from our staff, she was able to use a tablet that was gifted to her to video chat with her kids and even participate in the Easter Sunday Mass that was streamed online from her very own church. The change I saw in her demeanor after making those simple connections was amazing! There was a joy and vitality that had been missing for a few weeks. Since then, she has been staying connected to her family and friends, even encouraging others to use technology to their advantage.

Communication has always been a key ingredient to overall wellness, both for the patient and their healthcare team. Mental wellness plays a huge part in our overall health. Talking to our loved ones regularly will bring cheer, better perspective and remind us that we are maintaining physical distance now so that there is a later to look forward to.

We here at Coordinated Senior Services urge everyone to continue maintaining physical distance, but increase connectivity to your loved ones. It is within these connections and conversations that ‘I’ becomes ‘WE’ — so that we can still find hope, gain the strength to overcome this illness and find our overall wellness as a community.