Neligh clinic offering emotional support for seniors

NELIGH, Neb. - With the changes of aging, some sadness and loneliness can come with them.

While depression can affect anyone regardless of age, Senior Life Solutions feels that nobody should be left alone to suffer.

"That's the reality of the isolation. They just start to go downhill," said Senior Life Solutions Program Director Lindsay Ottis, "they're not stimulating their body, their mind. The reality is that mental and physical health go hand in hand."

Before the beginning of Mental Health Awareness month in May, Senior Life Solutions in Neligh is announcing a way out of the isolation - a program where connection is the best medicine.

Program Director Lindsay Ottis says members of the program, even in advanced cognitive decline, experience extreme turnarounds from the social interaction.

"One in particular, their family was looking at them going to assisted living, and they thought they'd give us a shot because she did not want to go," she said.

"Since she had been coming, the stimulation is just great. You see that improve. We see that in so many patients."

One-on-one sessions with medical professionals are complemented by group therapy, where patients gather together to share their experiences, play, and learn about various topics together.

All of my patients right now would tell you that is the best part. Once they got here and you just walk in, it's a comfortable place, they absolutely love group sessions.

Providing a social setting comes at no expense toward patient well-being. Members receive frequent examinations and wellness checks, and Ottis, as a registered nurse, is always ready to initiate care whenever it's needed.

Even with the vaccine rollout, Ottis says seniors are still concerned and remaining cautious. She hopes the communication that the therapy sessions will not only ease their worries but improve their entire lives.

"Therapy is the front line towards a treatment," Ottis said, "and it should be utilized."

"You shouldn't have to live sad and lonely."