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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – The Hidden Risks of #Suicide and #Depression for #Seniors Living in #Long-TermCare

James and Frank Furtado

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle


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By 2030, 20 percent of Americans will be #seniorcitizens. Many will eventually enter #long-termcare, a move that presents tough choices and challenges for #seniors and their families — including risks of #depression and #suicide. In partnership with Kaiser Health News, special correspondent Cat Wise reports on how families and facilities are struggling to understand and manage these risks.

By the year 2030, one in five Americans will be a #seniorcitizen. And, as #babyboomers age, many will eventually enter #long-termcare.

That move brings difficult choices and challenges for both seniors and their families. Among the less discussed is an increased risk of both #depression and #suicide for those moving into or living in #long-termcare.


Some families watching this might start to feel a bit guilty for having their loved ones go into #long-termcare facilities. What would you say to them?

I would say, you know, there’s lots of reasons that people go into #long-termcare. This isn’t about whether it’s a right decision or a wrong decision. What it’s about is, what are we doing on the backside to make sure that the person is transitioning well when they are going into #long-termcare, that we are doing the things to support them and stay connected.

A big part of that means pairing people who are not adjusting well with those who are to help them reconnect and reengage with the community.

For Jane Davis, that #mentoring piece is key.

I think the biggest thing is connection. If you have no connection, if your voice is no longer heard, why? What’s the why for life?

And just having someone to listen to you, to tell your story to — my dad had a great story. He loved to tell it, but no one was listening anymore.

For many families evaluating #long-termcare options for their loved ones, just learning the history of a facility can be challenging.

Kaiser Health News reporter JoNel Aleccia says there are no federal requirements to report #suicides in #long-termcare, and most states either don’t track these numbers or wouldn’t divulge them.

You would think that somebody would be watching. And what we found is, it is very difficult to tell which #long-termcarecenters have had #suicides, how your loved one — whether your loved one is in a place where that might have occurred.

She recommends that families ask what #suicideprevention and #mentalhealth protocols are in place. But she cautions that the work being done in Wenatchee is one of the only programs she was able to find across the country.

For their part, Julie Rickard and Jane Davis say we need to do better as a country of valuing the #elderly and to reduce #stigma around #depression and #suicide.

I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. It haunts you. So, to be able to talk about #suicide, to talk about #depression and #anxiety and all those issues that stem from long-term stuff that just isn’t addressed, we need to get rid of the #stigma. We need to understand that a person is a person and talk about it.

If you or anyone you know is feeling #depressed or #suicidal, please call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

James and Frank Furtado

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