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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pope visits old-age home, then gets to leave

Old Woman Dozing (by Maes)
One major difference between Pope Benedict and the seniors he recently preached to at an old-age home is that he got to leave and they didn't.

Nevertheless, the Pope stressed to them that "life can be beautiful at every age" (especially when your home is the Vatican rather than some white-walled ward).  Before going back to a life filled with purpose and excitement, he added:  You must never lock yourself in sadness…

Perhaps this particular Sant' Egidio community that he visited is markedly different from the multitude of old-age homes that emphasize sanitation over sanity.  A 1992 study by Abrams, Teresi and Butin of Cornell University Medical College indicated that depression in nursing home residents is
rampant.  Here is a quote from their abstract:  It is apparent that depression in long-term care facilities is a condition with doubtful prognosis and negative medical, social and financial consequences.

"Amy B." is a Yahoo! Contributor with an extensive professional background in the field of psychology.  Speaking from her own personal and work experiences, Amy writes:  Anybody in their right mind would
be depressed if all of a sudden they were taken away from their beloved home, denied the ability to go anywhere at all, told what to do all the time, lost all personal rights, and was subjected to total strangers day in and day out who see you in your most intimate ways…  Sadly, nursing homes fail to address the emotional and psychological needs of their residents…

It's not surprising that Pope Benedict also reported feeling younger after visiting this old-age home.  Who wouldn't after realizing how wonderful it is to still be able to leave…  


Copyright December 11, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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