Presbyterian Village North Visits Trinity Audubon Center on May 27

Presbyterian Village North (PVN) seniors, like most individuals, after months of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic are jubilant to be outdoors and back into the community. Being outside the confines of their home provides a dose of good medicine. Recent studies show how maintaining relationships with others offers seniors with benefits both physical and emotional, in addition to improving life longevity. 

“We noticed some positive effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on seniors, including adapting to video conferencing technology (closing the digital divide/gray divide somewhat), which has allowed many seniors to reconnect with previous social networks,” said Dr. Jordan Pastorek, who serves on staff at Medical City Plano as well as at Presbyterian Village North. “Unfortunately, there have been a lot of negative effects to the COVID-19 lockdown, including less utilization of health care, less activity, weight gain, increases in alcohol use and more depression.”

Dr. Pastorek emphasized the importance of individual connections for seniors.  “Now that the lockdowns are coming to an end, it’s important to pursue more human interactions, because though connecting through technology can be therapeutic, it’s no substitute for human contact. It’s also important for seniors to catch up on their overdue doctor’s appointments and to increase their activity,” Pastorek said.

With all residents having received the vaccine, PVN is now able to explore outside the walls of the senior living community. They recently toured the Trinity Audubon Center. While the event provided much needed exercise, wellness and outside connections with others, it is an example of needed prescriptions for seniors’ overall health.

“Being able to go on outings motivated our residents to stay active. My residents are lifelong learners. They are always looking for ways to stimulate their brain. They really enjoyed the Trinity River Audubon center because they were able to physically go on a hike and learn new things along the way. Better mental health can make you feel happier and social interaction is good for brain health,” Life Enrichment Manager Leticia Valdez said.

Residents shared their thoughts on their outing. “It is just beautiful here being in nature just outside downtown Dallas. We went on a hike – a little over a mile,” PVN Telva Gale Wallace, said at during the outing May 27 at the Trinity Audubon Center. 

Another PVN senior added it was a great opportunity to see parts of Dallas they had not visited, with the outing first big event after COVID-19 isolation.

Presbyterian Village North continuously seeks ways to expand its offerings that support senior wellness by helping others. Regular activities on the PVN campus include pet therapy, spa and salon services, fitness and continuing education classes, entertainment, worship services, as well as other group and individualized activities.

By: Nicole Nichols-Sanders, The Point Group