by Guest Blogger Kathleen Heren, Rhode Island State Long Term Care Ombudsman
It is almost impossible to turn on the TV or read a newspaper without notification of 3 or 4 disasters of the day. With a 24-hour news cycle, we are informed of shootings, plane crashes, violent crimes, and the list goes on. Just as depressing is our federal government playing a game of chicken with our economy and our lives. The world is not falling apart, but you would surely think it was by what we are being fed. It seems as if the media is in constant competition to see who can break the story first and how much more disgusting they can make the details.
I am not implying that listening to the news isn’t educational and keeps us in tune with our world. Why is it that negativity leads us to accept the worse instead of the positive side of life? Individuals who constantly indulge in a steady input of violence and negativity find it starts to act on their personal problems. You become more edgy, sad, and depressed. Thoughts of “why should I bother; look what’s going on in the world” are commonly heard by psychologists.
It’s very troubling to experience this negativity, but even more alarming is to think about individuals who suffer from mental illness that react to what they see. Think about how many mass shootings occur after the media does not stop for what seems to be endless coverage of the one shooting. It appears that 3 more occur that same week. The 2 most prominent ones I can think of are the Covid Vaccine and the false reporting on rigged elections.
There does not seem to be much reporting on how many long-term care providers and workers have placed their own lives and their family's lives at risk to care for your loved ones. I hear how many think the homes across our states have handled things poorly resulting in a loss of elderly life. In some cases that is true. There are far more good facilities than bad. There are also families who know how hard their loved ones’ facility struggled and tried any way they could to help.
I don’t think even for a minute that the same events have been occurring for years. The news of them was not in everyone’s face 24/7. The holidays are fast approaching. If your loved one is still with you, be thankful. Don’t worry that the home isn’t having the New York Symphony Orchestra performing the Nutcracker Suite at the home. Turn on music in your car on the way to work. Listening to more negative news that you have already heard can interfere with your mood and how you treat your co-workers and your family. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t be ashamed to get mental health counseling. This is not a stigma; it’s a sign you want to feel better.
In closing, turn off the news more frequently, and please get vaccinated. My office is always here to help you if you need anything; we can be reached at 401-785-3340 or www.alliancebltc.org.
The opinions expressed in our guest blogs are those of the author(s) only. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Connelly Law Offices, Ltd, or its employees.