Out of Sight, Out of Their Minds with Isolation (Effects of depression)

Learn how I beat Depression

Following the Louth Rose from bed to bed, camera in hand we came upon an old gentleman whose surname was ‘Gray,’ his skin was gray, his face had shown this grayness in his lackluster mood, but when the lovely girl made her way to his bedside his eyes lifted and with that his mood lifted, I could see that from where I stood.

It was a nursing home run by the state, it still cost the families of these elderly people a great deal of money to place them in there, but it was cheaper than sending them to the scandal ridden other nursing homes in the state. The scandals came courtesy of exposes into how they treated the elderly left in their care. The careless attitude they adopted, leaving bed sores to fester in those who could barely move their bodies, leaving the bed sheets unchanged of the infirm who had wet themselves. There was more pain in being in these nursing homes, than if they had been left to fend for themselves in the outside world, even given their diminished capabilities to handle the pressures of looking after themselves.

The caption I wrote in the paper to that picture I snapped with the Louth Rose and Mr Gary was; ‘**** Gray’s day turns a little brighter.’ How long that brightness would last was anyone’s guess. But having been around all of those elderly people, and having seen what it meant for them to have to stay in that nursing home, day in and day out, even with the rare luxury of a family visit, those days were empty, those people were isolated and I could see with good cause that those unfortunate old people were suffering the effects of depression.

When all that we have is taken from us, when we grow to be too old to do things for ourselves, when the death of our life partners leaves us lonely and reliant on our own inner resources of keeping our mental health together alone, I can see how that would lead to the startling statistics on depression in the elderly.

It is the feeling of isolation that compounds the depression, isolated and feeling useless after years of contributing to society, decades and indeed generations of hard work and taxpaying and for what? To be left to rot and wither away in a place where although the staff members might know your name, and treat you like the child they never had, their attempts to treat you correctly pale against what you really deserve, and that is to have your family around you in your last days.

But that is not the way that modern society works, whereas generations ago it was the case that perhaps three generations of family would live together in a home, living in squalor maybe, and tight conditions maybe, but at least people weren’t lonely. It is with sadness that I reflect on how society has changed so much in such a short space of time. This evolution of the family unit that has seen work life, and its pressure s take precedent over the needs of the family, has occurred more quickly than any other evolution of thought in society. There is just no space for the elderly anymore in our lives, and even looking at myself, even as I write about how this is a social malaise, I don’t know if I will fare out any better when the time comes for me to do my part in a better way.

The nursing home is an easy fix for the family, taking the need to deal with the situation out of view, out of sight and out of mind. The effects of depression on these elderly people leaves them heart broken and on a quicker road to their graves, and maybe amongst the youth, although any death is a sad occasion, maybe amongst the youth this circumstance isn’t such a bad thing. With the elderly person gone, they don’t have to feel the guilt any longer.

Learn how I beat Depression

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