SANDY, Utah – The long wait for the COVID-19 vaccine is over for one senior living center in Sandy. People working there reported they should have received the vaccine over a month ago, but they hope getting the medication now can help ease the feeling of isolation and depression that many of the residents are feeling.
Activities at Solstice Senior Living in Sandy are severely limited because of COVID-19. Residents like Kelly Benton said even small things, like eating with fellow residents, have been mostly cut off. They’re only allowed to eat lunch in the common area, and fewer people are allowed to be there at any given time.
“We still have to have our meals delivered for breakfast and dinner and sit by ourselves in our rooms,” Benton said.
Combine that with fewer visitors allowed in the facility, and Benton believes people are feeling very lonely inside the center.
She said, “For almost a year now, we’ve been on and off with our meals being delivered instead of being able to eat in the dining room. There are no activities, and, yeah, it’s depressing.”
The residents were originally going to have health workers administer the vaccine to them in January, however, center Communications Director Stephanie Barrick said that changed after officials determined Solstice was an “independent” living center, and residents were encouraged to travel to the most convenient vaccination site.
Barrick reported their seniors are not as “independent” as some people may assume, with many of them not being able to travel.
“There was a lot of pushing to get people to come to the building,” she said.
Most of the residents received their first dose of the vaccine before noon, and Barrick hopes to resume somewhat normal activities in the near future.
“We want to make sure everybody in our facility is vaccinated so that we can open up and get back to normal,” Barrick said. “It has been hard on our seniors. Really hard.”