There isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind that COVID-19 changed the landscape of health and healthcare forever. But beyond the physical complications that came with the pandemic, the mental health conversation has also changed – and hopefully, especially within the senior living community, for good.

According to recent studies aimed at taking the temperature of general morale in various communities across the globe, feelings of depression and anxiety have risen, healthcare workers are reporting a record-high level of burnout while on the job, and many people are still feeling isolated and at times extremely lonely. While all of these unintended symptoms of the pandemic are understandable and may even be familiar, there’s one reported feeling that has caught the eye of mental health professionals: languishing.

Here, we’ll discuss what languishing is, how this feeling has infiltrated the senior living community, and what senior care training materials are available to help residents and loved ones.

What is languishing and how does it affect seniors?

Languishing, as defined by Wharton psychology professor Adam Grant in a piece for the New York Times that has since gone viral, is the “…void between depression and flourishing – the absence of well-being.” Reading the definition, many might feel a connection to what they’ve been experiencing over the past year and some change while dealing with how the pandemic has disrupted life as they know it. It’s most certainly a feeling that can be remedied with rebuilding an enriching lifestyle and committing to keeping in touch with friends as the world begins to open up. But for senior living residents who may find themselves languishing, this feeling might not be the easiest to combat – or, even to diagnose.

Many seniors are already more susceptible to intense illnesses due to their age, but they’re also more apt to experience the symptoms of languishing because of the nature of aging. The pace of life has begun to slow down, perhaps fewer friends are nearby and able to connect, and if mobility is an issue, isolation can be a daily struggle. Seniors, whether in their own home or in a senior living community, might not have the same ability to fall back onto a busy and fulfilling lifestyle like someone in their younger years. This is why it’s crucial that senior care training materials address warning signs for declining mental health. If languishing is not addressed properly, or if it’s mistaken for just the natural course of aging, it can turn into deeper and more complex issues like depression or anxiety.

How languishing is being addressed in senior care training materials

As stated previously, languishing is not a particularly new sensation for seniors. Those caring for older adults are already aware of senior care training materials that focus on improving the quality of life for seniors who are relegated to a more sedentary lifestyle due to injuries or other aging effects. But thanks to the discovery of a surge in languishing among seniors in general, more senior living community professionals are being introduced to senior care training materials that address senior mental health. This includes everyone from long-term care attendants to home care professionals.

It’s important for any professional working with seniors to have access to senior care training materials that help to detect signs of declining mental health. But just noticing these symptoms is not enough – knowing what to do next can help senior living professionals take the care they’re giving from good to great. This is why so many senior living communities focus on community lifestyle programs as part of their core offerings for residents. Currently there are many helpful senior care training materials that speak directly to creating a vibrant lifestyle for seniors in all levels of care within retirement communities. And even for communities who have established a well-balanced lifestyle program, it’s always a good idea to revisit the latest research in senior care training materials on an annual basis.

How senior care training materials combatting languishing can have a positive impact on staff as well

One way that senior care training materials and programs are addressing mental health training in older adults specifically in retirement homes is by creating a sense of community among the staff. Doing this allows for coworkers to be able to freely share their methods of success, which helps to solidify a standardized program within retirement communities as well.

It’s also important to understand that languishing in retirement communities doesn’t just affect the residents – it can also take a toll on the nurses and senior living staff that care for them. The pandemic has brought significant challenges for those in the healthcare sector and having senior care training materials as they relate to staff mental health support can be just as vital to the quality of care residents are receiving as any other training materials.

SeniorLivingU can help to make senior care training materials more accessible

Headquartered in Hershey, PA, SeniorLivingU serves as a support system and senior care training materials provider for organizations and individuals within the senior living industry. Our website provides a full e-commerce storefront for registered account members to easily purchase new retirement community staff training courses and other helpful senior living resources as they see fit and as often as they like. You can also visit the FAQ page for some helpful tips on how to navigate our materials. To learn more about SeniorLivingU, the services we provide, and how we can provide the best senior care training materials and resources for your organization, contact us today. We look forward to matching your team with the right senior care training materials for your needs.