Moore sentenced to 16 years in prison for assault Tea Party holds candidate forum Hamersville Police Dept. introduces newest officer Russellville Council takes action on closing alleys Anthony R Traylor Caryl J Eyre Jays clinch 2nd in SHAC Division I Week 7 football roundup Battle between Eastern, Ripley ends in tie Broncos are SBAAC American Divison champs Lady Rockets enter final game of regular season on 3-game win streak Lady G-Men claim wins over Manchester, Bethel-Tate Lady Broncos win at New Richmond, rise to first in SBAAC American Division standings Judge approves sale of hospital Trump losing support in Ohio delegation Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Joyce A Mignerey George W Kilgore Vernon Creighton Brittany A Perkins Sister Jane Stier Jeff Bess Russell Rockwell Lady Warriors looking to get back to winning ways G-Men rise to 2nd in SBAAC Nat’l Division Western Brown volleyball team jumps to 12-6 with wins over Norwood, CNE Week six football roundup Track champions determined at MRP in an exciting night of racing action Sectional tourney play begins for Western Brown girls tennis Phillips, Sininger advance to district golf tourney Christopher W Baker Sherry A Napier Betty L Kelley Virginia E Deininger Shirley J Carr 2016 Brown County Fair comes to an end Coroner appeals ruling on Goldson investigation Ripley Federal merges with Southern Hills RUCK March set to raise veteran suicide awareness Louise I McCann Louise I McCann Jackie Garrison Kathy S Jordan Rockets rally for first league win Lady Broncos rise to 10-6 with win at Wilmington Broncos begin quest for SBAAC American Div. title Lady G-Men looking to bounce back from recent losses SHAC golf season in the books Lady Rockets top Whiteoak Fair Royalty chosen for 2016 Troop Box Ministry still going strong after 15 years Three sentenced in Common Pleas Alex K Miller Denvil Burchell Maneva H Teague Vincent A Cluxton Stanley J Brannock Robert L Dyer Mary L Phillips Broncos gallop to 9-0-1 with win over G-Men Tight battle continues for SBAAC American Division volleyball title Jays rally for win over Rockets Week 4 football roundup Sininger is SBAAC Nat’l Division Golfer of Year Lady Rockets top CCD, fall to CNE Janet R Reveal Paul D Hines Gas skimmers stealing identities Democrats meet in G’town Humane Society horses now up for adoption New ‘B-Fit Program’ at this year’s fair Drug Task Force marijuana eradication Cheryl L Sams Aaron S Cartwright Tommie E Stout Rockets soar past the Warriors, 5-0 G-Men place runner-up in Vern Hawkins XC Invite Lady Warriors cruise to victory over Fayetteville Broncos remain unbeaten at 6-0-1 Lady G-Men win at Ripley Week 3 football roundup Broncos lead after round two of SBAAC American Division play Ohana Music Festival a huge success Man charged with 292 counts of child porn possession G’Town Council resolves zoning issues, to hold public meeting on medical marijuana Chase pleads guilty to obscenity charges Georgetown Nativity Scene to be on display, much longer this year Georgetown Police Chief Rob Freeland, updates council on village happenings Jay R Crawford Kenneth James Verne Wisby, Sr Kenneth J Barber Olivette F Corbett David E Kelsey, Sr Betty A Stegbauer Virginia McConnaughey Chantal C Cook Chase pleads guilty to obscenity charges Brown County jobless rate at 16 year low UC to eliminate smoking on campus

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.

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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