Mary J Fitzgerald Tyler Hesler Herbert Polley Robert Layton Donald H Layton James T Smith Thomas M Calvert Thomas J Wolfer Cropper coaches way to 500th career victory Ohio’s Deer-Gun Season opens with more than 18,000 deer harvested Lady Broncos face talented Wilmington squad in season opener at Western Brown SHAC teams hit the hardwood for annual Boys Basketball Preview Western’s Leto and Jones excel in sophomore season of XC Lady Rockets open season with victory over Hillsboro Gary P Garrison Rev Larry T Allen Georgetown, Eastern MS honored by state Woodruff updates Chamber of Commerce Operation Christmas Child reaching out overseas G’town Christmas Parade Dec. 3 Ronald E Blessing Sharlee R West June A Goecke Rockets earn OVAL honors Ogden Court dedication set for Dec. 10 Jays host Broncos for OHSAA Foundation Game Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season SHAC holds Girls Basketball Preview Foreclosure filed on former Meadowwood Care Facility Ten indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Nature Works Grant funds for new Senior Playground Shop with a Cop looking for donations and support BC Beekeepers Association busy rescuing honey bees Hilda F Steele Ronald L Palmer Bruce E Phillips Elizabeth J Ellison Daniel L Turner Cook inducted into OIAAA Hall of Fame Eastern honors Coach Kiser G-Men, Devils battle it out in OHSAA Foundation Game Jester is OVAL Football Player of the Year Ipad program a success in Georgetown schools Powih sentenced to six years on rape charges Air Evac team to get new headquarters building in Georgetown Four sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court Homer C Eldridge Dennis D Johnson SBAAC First Team soccer all-stars take home awards Ohio’s Deer-gun hunting season quickly approaching League champ Lady Broncos recognized at fall sports banquet SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, league champion teams Irene D Thurman County GOP sweeps at ballot box Landfill project to provide electricity Three indicted by County Grand Jury BREAKING ELECTION NEWS Wanda L Nixon Ella A Moon David Rogers Joanna W Carter Ann L Yeary Tony Gacek Rigdon finishes 3rd in Pickerington Div. III Regional Meet, advances to OHSAA XC State Tournament Week 10 football roundup Linkous named SBAAC American Division Soccer Player of the Year SHAC awards boys golf all-stars, winning teams Donald L Bauer Andrew W Brown Early voting still going strong at Election Board Tree ordinance brings more questions at G’Town Council Steele named new mayor in R’ville ABCAP’s Reproductive Center receives $2,000 from Jaymie Jamison Foundation Robert E Bailey Myrtle L Stiltner Etta M Mays Kathleen A Holden Eastern XC teams head to Regional Meet A season to remember Lady Warriors finish runner-up in SHAC Div. I Lady Broncos finish season 10-8-1 Week 9 football roundup G-Men and Colwell head to Div. III Regional XC Meet Marie E Thompson Georgia E Smith Jonathan C Gee Wenstrup discusses regulations, drug issue Woman charged with injecting pregnant woman Public meeting on drug problem draws large crowd BC Chamber of Commerce looks for nominees Mary A Brauns Lynn V Augline Denise A McCleese Tommy E Vaughn Beulah M White Anthony Dozier Moore sentenced to 16 years in prison for assault Tea Party holds candidate forum Hamersville Police Dept. introduces newest officer

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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