key initiatives

Confinement Syndrome

What is Confinement Syndrome?

The protection measures put in place to enhance safety during COVID-19 have led to either the directed or chosen confinement of many older adults and caregivers. As a result, the risk of Confinement Syndrome in these individuals is increased because:

  • Social networks and support systems have been disrupted, including the support provided by essential caregivers and visitors in hospitals and congregate settings.
  • Access to health and/or social programming has been reduced, including less in-person contact/assessment and fewer activities/programs.
  • Less mobilization and activity is occurring due to fear of contracting the disease, physical distancing across settings and reductions in programming.
  • Usual staff who ‘know’ the older adult (their needs and their environment) have been less available to provide care due to staffing challenges and IPAC demands, including additional time required for PPE.

Interventions for Consideration

It is imperative that we find the right balance between keeping older adults and caregivers safe from COVID-19 and reducing the risk of Confinement Syndrome. Ongoing assessment of the possible clinical issues associated with Confinement Syndrome must be part of a new paradigm of care amid this pandemic. Identification of issues and (ideally) early intervention will lead to better outcomes for older adults and their caregivers, including reduced morbidity and mortality. This, in turn, will lead to improved health system outcomes.

Confinement Syndrome Information

Overview and General Information

Social Isolation and Depression

Functional Decline


Nutrition / Hydration

NSM SGS Nutrition / Hydration Summary