Thursday, August 18, 2022

Play

A new bill would put term limits on Supreme Court justices, Michigan workers win a minimum wage increase, and the CDC announces an operational overhaul.

Play

Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani testifies before a Georgia grand jury, Liz Cheney says she's considering a run for president in 2024, and a Wis. Democratic challenger leads the race for Ron Johnson's Senate seat.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Older Adults Report Troubling Struggles with Mental Health

Play

Monday, May 23, 2022   

Among the needs highlighted during Mental Health Awareness Month are those for older adults. It's become a serious challenge, says a new America's Health Rankings 2022 Senior Report.

For people age 65-plus, the report ranks Ohio 37th among states for the risk of social isolation and 38th for reports of frequent mental distress.

Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations with the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, explained these issues were exacerbated in the pandemic. He encouraged anyone concerned about behavioral changes in a loved one to reach out - and be careful not to use labels.

"If you say, 'Hey, Dad, you're depressed.' that's not going to go over well with a lot of people," said Wilson. "So, it's more important to approaching individuals by suggesting doing something fun - like, 'Hey, there's this really good group that plays cards every Friday. Can I take you there?'"

Even more troubling, the report found a 157% increase in drug-related deaths among older Ohioans.

Seniors are more likely to be taking prescription medications, which they may unintentionally misuse. And they face a reduced ability to metabolize medications due to age-related changes in the liver.

The report is from UnitedHealthcare, where Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Randall said there's an intriguing juxtaposition between physical and mental health status.

"Seniors are rating their overall health," said Randall, "not just behavioral health, but health in general - as 'very good' or 'high.' So, it's interesting to see simultaneously, they're saying, 'My overall health is good, but my mental health is poor."

Wilson said he believes the community needs to provide more resources to address mental health and social isolation for older adults.

"As a society, we're really good at providing for physical needs," said Wilson, "for example, transportation, food, cleaning and things like that. And oftentimes, we overlook the impact that social isolation has on individuals' quality of life and their physical health, as well."

He noted that Area Agencies on Aging are good sources for locating local programs to connect seniors to mental health services and social activities, as well as libraries and community centers.



Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
With a 29.7% jump in population over the last decade, residents of Hell's Kitchen are calling on MTA officials for a new subway station to be built in the neighborhood. But, it could face stiff competition for funding from other proposed capital projects. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …


Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…


Rural towns and communities make up 72% of the nation's land area, house 46 million people and are relied upon for agriculture, natural resources, outdoor recreation and environmental sustainability, according to the USDA. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

Health and Wellness

Your first heartbreak, accident, loss of a loved-one or being chased by a dog - these and so many other incidents can be lasting traumatic …

Two bills introduced in the House are aimed at changing the makeup of the Supreme Court. One would see several justices retired from the court in the next six years. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would place limits on Supreme Court justices in the wake of several of the court's decisions…

Environment

The kelp forests off the Mendocino coast are starting to recover with improved environmental conditions, thanks to a conservation program which sent …

Social Issues

Madera Community College outside Fresno is making big plans after being named winner of the Million Dollar Community College Challenge Wednesday…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021