As social distancing and self-isolation become the new normal due to COVID-19, it is important that we take active steps towards staying connected and engaged, even if we can’t be near others.  

While social isolation is difficult for many, the senior population is at an increased risk of suffering the negative effects of isolation due to factors such as living alone, chronic illness, mobility or the loss of family and friends. 

Prestige Senior Living High Desert is taking an active approach to combating issues associated with social isolation in their residents and are proud to be finding new and innovative ways to keep their community members active and engaged during this unknown time. While providing residents with opportunities to be active and improve quality of life is a true team effort, High Desert’s Activity Director and Caregiver, Debbie Sammut, plays a crucial role in the process. Read on to learn how Debbie and the High Desert team continue to put the health and happiness of their residents at the center of everything they do.

What do you enjoy most about your job and how do you feel your role benefits the community and its residents? 

There are many things I love about my job as an Activity Director and Caregiver. The thing that stands out most to me is the love I have for our residents. Just to bring a smile to a resident’s face or to comfort them after they’ve had a tough day means everything to me. The residents in our community benefit from my role at Prestige because I am a constant. I am always thinking ahead of what their needs are, both mentally and physically, and am constantly looking for new ways to spark joy in the community. 

How are you combating the issues associated with social isolation and self-quarantine due to COVID-19? 

Some of the ways we are combating issues involving social isolation is through one-on-one resident engagement. Our team regularly visits residents to play games, work on puzzles, talk about their day, and exercise. We are also taking measures to ensure our residents stay physically active. We have a daily walking group that meets in the afternoon and walks around the block while keeping six feet of distance between each other.

We also have outdoor entertainers that come once a week to sing to the residents; we usually pair this entertainment with our Happy Hour and themed weekly cocktail, which our residents love. 

Right now, our residents are most excited about our drive-by Car Parade which will allow them to check out some great cars and wave to their family members from a safe distance. 

If there was one thing you would want a prospective resident to know about moving to High Desert, what would it be? 

Something I would like prospective residents to know about us is that we are a mid-sized community, so it is easy to be social and active in the community, if you choose to be. Because of the smaller community atmosphere, we truly are like one big family. We also have a beautiful private outdoor gathering space for our residents to enjoy. 

Prestige Senior Living High Desert is a departure from nursing homes of the past. We strive to provide our residents with engaging and fun activities that keep them active and entertained. 

Call our community at (541) 312-2003 or visit to schedule your virtual tour today.  

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