Michael D Karos Jr John H Kirk Janet R Meyer Patsy A Clark Dorothy J Schroeder Broncos trample the G-Men, 73-40 Rockets down the Devils, 59-55 Seven new inductees to enter WBHS Sports Hall of Fame Lady Warriors ascend to 13-1 Broncos finish 2nd of 22 teams in Hammer and Anvil Invitational Hedwig Lambert Billie G Walkup Some county offices may be moved G’town Council approves 2017 budget Family doubles in size with adoption Sardinia Mayor looks forward to 2017 2017 Fayetteville Firemen’s Festival set Floyd Newberry Jr Donna F Lang Gene Warren Dwight L Fulton Virginia A O’Neil Anne L Durbin-Thomas Marietta Dunn Charles L Latchford Broncos win ‘Battle of 32’ Lady Broncos claim win over Bethel-Tate Jays top Warriors, fall to Mustangs Lady Warriors claim top spot in SHAC with win over Lynchburg-Clay Broncos buck the Lions, 54-51 James N DeHaas Questions still linger in Stuart explosion New direction for Brittany Stykes case New public safety director now on duty in Brown Co. Fayetteville Mayor anticipates a good year for the village Chamber of Commerce announces awardees Robert Bechdolt Carl E Lindsey Audrey F Maher LeJeune Howser Tammy L Connor Henry C Mayhall Jr Chad Spilker Frank W Kemmeter Jr Wanda J Howard Dorothy Huff Colon C Malott Eastern varsity teams come out on top to capture Brown County Holiday Classic crowns WBHS Army JROTC hosts rifle shooting competition Bronco varsity wrestling team unbeaten at 8-0 Blue Jays finish 1-1 in Ripley Pepsi Classic Mona G Van Vooren Hiram Beardsworth Avery W McCleese Ethel E Long Children learn safety from ‘Officer Phil’ Microchips can help locate lost pets Local GOP plans trip to Washington Three sentenced in common pleas Estel Earhart Roy Stewart Tenacious ‘D’ leads Lady Jays to victory over Blanchester on day one of Ripley Pepsi Classic Fayetteville’s Thompson, Jester earn SWOFCA All-City honors Jays fall to Blanchester on first day of Pepsi Classic Ticket details announced for OHSAA basketball and wrestling state tournaments Jerri K McKenzie Randy D Vaughn Georgetown JR/SR high to have new library Georgetown saw many improvements in 2016 Three sentenced in common pleas court Esther O Brown G-Men go on scoring rampage for 77-41 win over Cardinals Warriors climb to 4-2 with wins over West Union, Lynchburg Rockets top Whiteoak for first win Shirley M Bray Carter Lumber closes in G’town Wenstrup looks forward to 2017 Seven indicted by county grand jury John Ruthven holds pre-Christmas Open House New pet boarding facility now open in Georgetown Denver W Emmons Carl W Liebig Mary L McKinley Blake C Roush Louis A Koewler William D Cornetet Western Brown dedicates Perry Ogden Court Lady Warrior win streak hits 5 Lady Rockets wrap up tough week on the hardwood Barons rally for win over Broncos Georgetown to hire two paid Firefighter/EMT’s Noble receives statewide law enforcement award County helps family in need after house fire Flashing signs banned in G’town historic district ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ at Gaslight Thelma L Ernst Roy L Bruce Ken Leimberger Cathye J Bunthoff Lending a holiday helping hand

Seniors with disabilities fighting depression

Much of my work as a mental health professional involves seeing clients on site in assisted living facilities. While driving to a facility not long ago, I was listening to a radio program in which the host mentioned that 85 percent of people in nursing homes didn’t have any regular visitors. It was probably the same for assisted living, I figured. Then I began wondering which of my clients—all with disabilities—would have family members or friends visiting during the 2015 holiday season.

To learn more, I spoke with an assisted living facility administrator, Tonya, who said in a telephone interview, “I would say, at most, 50 percent of our residents receive regular visitors, and that may be a high estimate. In terms of ‘regular’ visitors, I’m counting more than just family members and am including neighbors and even social workers that might stop by only a couple times a year. We have few residents that have family visiting routinely.”

She attributed part of the problem to some residents who were estranged from family due to addiction or mental health issues; but the bulk was due to residents who had outlived other family members, not had children, or had children or relatives that lived out of state.

She said, “The holidays tend to be extremely hard for many residents. Sometimes their lack of visitors contributes to behaviors we don’t normally see. They may act out when feeling isolated. It often gives people hope when they have someone to talk to. Our staff is trying to (physically) take care of residents and the time we have to talk with them is less than what we’d like. We wish we had more time to visit. If all our residents had regular visitors, it would have such a huge impact on their lives.”

With more contact with visitors from outside, Tonya said her residents most certainly would feel less depressed and isolated, exhibit far fewer attention-seeking behaviors, and have fewer incidents of being angry at each other.

Many assisted living and nursing home residents have family members, friends or former neighbors living nearby who seldom or never visit. If that’s you, I challenge you to make plans to visit and keep on visiting regularly throughout the year. I also challenge all readers to visit local facilities and try making new friends. Try to focus on their struggles rather than your own awkward feelings.

http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Vance-sig.pdf

By Daniel Vance

Daniel Vance is a contributing columnist whose column “disabilities” has been featured in over 265 newspapers since its inception in 2002.

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2016 News Democrat