Independence vital for all Americans

Independence vital for all Americans

Dr. Chrissy Whiting-Madison

It is once again the time of year when we all take a moment to pause and reflect on the price of freedom. 

The truth is freedom is never truly free. Perhaps to those of us who have never experienced active combat or lost a loved one while serving, it can easily be taken for granted. However, the truth remains the same — countless individuals have paid the ultimate price so we can choose the life we which to live.   

Can you imagine a life without freedom and the toll it would have on your mental health? Many of our seniors, especially many of our veterans, battle this reality every day. Each morning they are forced to wake up in an existence where freedom diminishes more and more with each passing hour.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), our seniors and elderly veterans are struggling. As these individuals age, their health and well-being are being impacted greatly. We expect our mother will be unhappy when we take away her car keys, determining it is no longer safe for her to drive. We expect our father to protest when we suggest hiring an in-home caregiver. We know grandma will resist when we start the process of moving her into a retirement community or even a more comprehensive senior health center. Knowing and expecting these reactions does not make these transitions any easier on our beloved senior family members; rather these difficulties can result in long term outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, anger, fear and guilt. 

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