Collier EditionCOVID-19

Tips for Staying Healthy & Active While Social Distancing

By Greg Pascucci

aging amid coronavirusThis uncertain time has created new challenges for embracing the dimensions of wellness associated with healthy aging. Thankfully, technology (and a little creativity) can help bridge the gap until the country returns to a new normal.

Here are a few tips for successful aging amid coronavirus:

Research shows spirituality plays a significant role in our lives as we age. With the country under quarantine, many have found time to pause and reflect on their spirituality and look at opportunities for growth. Many of the temples, mosques and places of worship throughout Collier County have moved their services online, enabling parishioners to continue practicing their faith.

At The Carlisle Naples, an active retirement community, there continues to be a wealth of opportunities for spiritual fulfillment. The Zest Department, charged with appealing to residents’ mind, body and soul, is using technology to live-stream religious and worship services.

The National Institutes of Health recommends physical fitness, regardless of age. There are plenty of fun ways to stay active while taking precautions and practicing social distancing. Consider heading outdoors to continue or begin an exercise regimen (be sure to maintain the recommended distance of six feet when approaching others who are working out).

Carlisle resident Dory Hayden finds The Carlisle’s meandering walking paths ideal for exercising and admiring the beauty of Mother Nature.

“I walk around the community about once a day which is about half mile,” she said. “The Carlisle also provides a list of virtual exercise videos that can be done from the convenience of our residence.”

Many colleges and universities have opened their course catalog to the general public, often free of charge. From Harvard and Stanford to Oxford, a variety of college-level courses can be accessed online. And, without packing a bag, you can virtually explore museums and destinations across the globe. YouTube and Pinterest also provide additional opportunities to stimulate the brain and learn new hobbies such as a foreign language.

Fran O’Brien, for example, has rediscovered a love of baking during the past few months of quarantining at The Carlisle Naples.

“I used to bake a lot before moving to The Carlisle; however, I became so involved with activities and serving on committees that I no longer had time to bake,” she said. “Now, baking is my way to thank the staff for all they are doing for me and my neighbors. I also bake for the servers in the dining room who are such great kids. They all want to get on my brownie list!”

Staying socially engaged is a key component of healthy aging. For older adults living alone during the pandemic, this can be a challenging time. Video-chatting apps such as FaceTime and Skype are great ways to stay connected while social distancing. Also, consider sending emails and letters to grandchildren and great-grands to help bridge the gap in communication.

“At The Carlisle, though residents are social distancing, they are not alone. There is an entire team onsite dedicated to their health, safety and wellbeing,” said Executive Director Bill Diamond. “Each day, the Zest team makes one-on-one visits, bringing smiles and activities to stay busy. They also provides guidance on using FaceTime and video chat to stay in touch with loved ones. Our SRG Sentiments program offers yet another way to connect. Residents’ families submit messages, emails and photos which are printed and delivered to residents.”

Hayden is quite fond of the daily visits, including the complimentary room service delivery of gourmet meals, expertly prepared by the in-house culinary team.

“The Carlisle staff goes shopping for residents and helps us order from Instacart and Amazon. We even receive positive quotes on our packages to help lift our spirits,” she explained. “During the coronavirus, we’ve had to make lemonade out of lemons, and The Carlisle has been the sweetener.”

Located at 6945 Carlisle Court in Naples, The Carlisle offers spacious one-and two-bedroom residences, weekly housekeeping and flat linen services, basic cable TV, all utilities except telephone, and a complimentary full breakfast plus choice of lunch or dinner in the community’s gourmet-style restaurant. For more information about the community, please call 239-221-0017 or visit

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