Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Older Adults Report Troubling Struggles with Mental Health


Monday, May 23, 2022   

Among the needs highlighted during Mental Health Awareness Month are those for older adults. It's become a serious challenge, says a new America's Health Rankings 2022 Senior Report.

For people age 65-plus, the report ranks Ohio 37th among states for the risk of social isolation and 38th for reports of frequent mental distress.

Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations with the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, explained these issues were exacerbated in the pandemic. He encouraged anyone concerned about behavioral changes in a loved one to reach out - and be careful not to use labels.

"If you say, 'Hey, Dad, you're depressed.' that's not going to go over well with a lot of people," said Wilson. "So, it's more important to approaching individuals by suggesting doing something fun - like, 'Hey, there's this really good group that plays cards every Friday. Can I take you there?'"

Even more troubling, the report found a 157% increase in drug-related deaths among older Ohioans.

Seniors are more likely to be taking prescription medications, which they may unintentionally misuse. And they face a reduced ability to metabolize medications due to age-related changes in the liver.

The report is from UnitedHealthcare, where Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Randall said there's an intriguing juxtaposition between physical and mental health status.

"Seniors are rating their overall health," said Randall, "not just behavioral health, but health in general - as 'very good' or 'high.' So, it's interesting to see simultaneously, they're saying, 'My overall health is good, but my mental health is poor."

Wilson said he believes the community needs to provide more resources to address mental health and social isolation for older adults.

"As a society, we're really good at providing for physical needs," said Wilson, "for example, transportation, food, cleaning and things like that. And oftentimes, we overlook the impact that social isolation has on individuals' quality of life and their physical health, as well."

He noted that Area Agencies on Aging are good sources for locating local programs to connect seniors to mental health services and social activities, as well as libraries and community centers.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021