So what are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Family? Friends? Faith? Health? Prosperity? For me? Add my four-legged furbabies – my pets. They mean so much to me: unconditional love, companionship, protection, entertainment and now are proving to be additionally, good for my mental and physical health.
Recent studies emphasize that the health of senior citizens is impacted by feelings of loneliness and isolation even calling it a ‘silent killer.’ The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately 11 million seniors lived alone in 2010. Statistics compiled in the United Kingdom have found that a million seniors go as long as a month without talking to anyone.
Seniors who live by themselves are susceptible to loneliness and isolation, especially when they do not have family nearby. Actually, an AARP report says that there are fewer seniors with family members available to help them. Just because seniors live alone and don’t have family support available doesn’t automatically lead to loneliness and isolation. The key is socialization. Many seniors simply do not take advantage of senior activities in their community for whatever reason: they don’t feel comfortable or don’t believe it will help them. This is what contributes to the desperate feelings of loneliness, and then leads them to isolation. Personal consulting or interaction can be a valuable resource for them to pull out of the consequences of isolation.
The National Academy of Sciences reports that loneliness can increase the risk of mortality in seniors. With fewer people around, there is a higher chance of depression. Depression can lead to seniors not caring for themselves as well as they should, such as and going to the doctor for checkups and follow ups.
Seniors who feel lonely often have poor mental health and may in turn exhibit physical signs such as headaches and stomach aches. High blood pressure can result.
Cognitive decline and decreased cognitive performance is a consequence of loneliness. It is part of the “use it or lose it” phenomenon. When seniors don’t use their minds, they start to lose their mental acuity. This can lead to symptoms of dementia that can become progressively worse, especially when seniors continue to isolate themselves.
Loneliness and isolation can lead seniors into engaging in unhealthy behaviors; e.g., poor hygiene, not exercising and having poor eating habits. Those behaviors can then lead to high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.
In other words, lonely seniors who isolate themselves are increasing their risks for serious medical and mental problems. While it can be difficult to get seniors to leave their home and socialize, it’s easier to get them to talk on the phone about what they may be suffering with right now. Sometimes, all it takes to decrease feelings of loneliness and bring them out of isolation is speaking to someone who truly cares about them.
A Country Word to the Wise: “Mama said, ‘You can just get glad in the same britches you got mad in’.”
Just in case you have any turkey left over this Thanksgiving, here is a recipe for:
TURKEY HOT BROWNS
6 (1″ thick) slices of White Bread, Toasted
1 Large Tomato, Sliced and Halved
12 slices of Bacon, Cooked and Halved
1 Cup finely shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
Arrange bread slices on a lightly greased baking pan. Place sliced turkey on the bread slices. Drizzle with gravy and top with sliced tomatoes and bacon. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.
The Most Sorrowful Mother of God parishioners are collecting items for St. Vincent de Paul in the narthex/foyer of the church until the end of the year. Those items being requested include: canned goods, non-perishable food items, household items (laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper) and children’s diapers. The church is open to the public on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. for drop off.
December 5th at 6 p.m. will be the next Patriot Town Board meeting. All meetings are held at the Patriot Town Hall which also houses the offices of the Patriot Water Company at 352 3rd Street. All are invited to attend.
The annual Town of Patriot Christmas Dinner will be held on Saturday, December 17th at 5 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help and may call Linda in the office at (812) 594-2243 during the week to sign up.
The Red HOT Hatters will be collecting personal hygiene products for Angel Tree until December 5th. Those items suggested include bar soap, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, body wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Anyone with items to donate may contact Kay Cook at (812) 594-2281 to arrange pick up.
In addition to these donations, the Red HOT Hatters are actively pursuing charitable projects for Christmas and are open for suggestions (812-594-2281).
The Red HOT Hatters’ third annual “Christmas at the Mansion” luncheon which will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 12th at the beautiful Benjamin Schenck Mansion in Vevay. Total cost per person will be $16 and will include: ultimate grilled cheese panini with Applewood smoked bacon, creamy tomato soup, fruit salad with honey and lime dressing served on lettuce leaf, lemon squares – tart but sweet, coffee or unsweetened tea.
Reservations will be required by Monday, December 5th. All are welcome. Please RSVP to Kay Cook at (812) 594-2281.
Part of all of our Red Hat meetings is a voluntary gift exchange. Gifts should be wrapped or bagged and be valued at approximately $10-$20 and can run the whole gamut of serious to silly to curious or bizarre. Although we have been affiliated with the Red Hat Society since March 19th, 2012, our only three requirements for membership are: 1) enjoy a good meal, 2) have fun and 3) make new friends! Hats are optional. Some of us wear ribbons, bows or flowers in our hair and others go all out with wide brimmed hats with feathers and even ball caps with sequins. Not even everyone wears red and purple. If you are 50 years young or older, you are welcome to come and join in our festivities. If you are under 50, you are welcome to come as a designated “Pink Hat” with all of the same privileges. We normally meet once a month, either on a Monday or Wednesday at 11 a.m. If you are interested or have any additional questions, please feel free to contact one of the ladies listed above or myself at (812) 594-2281. We would love to have you join us – with or without a red hat!
If you have anything for me to include in this article, please send it to me. Information can be received any day of the week but normally my deadline is Sunday at noon for that week’s issue of the paper. Any news received later will appear in the following week’s article. If you need something in on a particular date be sure and give it to me early. Thank you for sending me what you do every week – I couldn’t do this without you!
You may contact me several ways: by leaving a note of message inside the cat mailbox in front of 1995 Front Street in Patriot; or by calling my home at (812) 594-2281; or dropping me a note at P.O. Box #01, Patriot, Indiana, 47038. In addition, contact KAY E COOK on Facebook or online at PatriotNews1995@gmail.com.