Loneliness and Mental Health

Today is Black Friday. Instead of going to an overcrowded mall today, I went to the nursing home where I see my regular caseload of residents each Friday.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. I spent yesterday with my family, surrounded by those whom I love. The majority of my residents were alone yesterday, without family or friends visiting them.

I can’t help but think how much of a difference adequate social support makes to our overall degre of emotional well-being. Despite receiving adequate nutrition and multiple medications, the residents whom I see are, for the most part, starving for meaningful social interaction.

I received a referral for a new resident today. In completing her initial psychological evaluation, my heart felt very heavy. She said that the only thing that she has to look forward to is dying.

I honestly strive to make a difference for the residents whom I see. I want them to feel like they are not totally forgotten.

I, too, have previously felt the pain of loneliness. I fought back tears as I left the nursing home this afternoon.

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