May 9, 2023
Sandy McGatha, a Clinical Social Worker with Arrow Senior Living, sat down with resident LaVerna Yarnell for a discussion on depression. Yarnell shared with transparency about the depression she experienced after health issues and the loss of her beloved husband of fifty-three years.
Depression comes in a variety of degrees and can be chronic or triggered by situations or seasons. It can affect people in different ways, and not everyone who is depressed looks depressed. Depression is characterized by sadness, uncertainty, heaviness, grief, and lack of motivation. It is overwhelming and isolating to experience.
But McGatha says it does not have to be a part of your normal life. “Don’t settle for depression,” she stressed.
As with diabetes, there may not be a cure for depression, but there are treatments. McGatha and Yarnell discussed a variety of ways to stabilize your mood: Professional assistance through medication and therapy; exercise or sitting in the sun and being present in the moment. Focusing outward can help, too, through socialization or pets, as well as volunteering and helping other people. Find a purposeful activity to get you outside of your rut.
While society has become generally more understanding about depression, there are still lingering misconceptions about it, such as it’s shameful to have it or to take medicine for it. Yarnell has heard people say things like: “Pull up your bootstraps and move on,” an attitude that isn’t effective when in the depths of depression and one that can make it difficult to talk about or seek help.
The conversation was deeply personal and will likely resonate with anyone who has struggled with depression. If you are experiencing depression, McGatha encourages reaching out to a trusted friend, religious leader, general practitioner, or mental health professional for help.
Saint Charles, Missouri-based Arrow Senior Living manages a collection of communities that offer varying levels of care including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Each and every senior living community supports residents by focusing on dignity, respect, and quality of life. The programs and amenities offered are selected to provide only the highest standard of quality and comfort.
October 25, 2023
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month, and as part of our ongoing Diversity & Inclusion Series, we invited disability advocate and writer Nina Tame to speak with Arrow resident Hazel Gumm about living with spina bifida. They discuss mobility and independence, ableism, and a happy life. Spina bifida is a rare birth defect that occurs […]
October 21, 2023
To recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October, we invited Erin Suelmann to talk with Arrow resident Teresa Saunders. Suelmann is the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis. Her organization services about 2,200 individuals with Down syndrome and their families to ensure their health, happiness, and equity through their whole […]