LOCAL SPOTLIGHT - KENTUCKY HEALTH SOLUTIONS

It is that most wonderful time of the year—no, we are not talking about Christmas. It’s Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Season. Yes, it’s the time of the year when we stress and spend hours on the phone or online shopping for health coverage. The pain of having to shop health coverage, spend hours on the phone or online with one company vs another for our health insurance can be a daunting task. It does not matter if you are on Medicare or looking for your personal insurance, this can be one of the most dreaded….

REDEFINED SENIOR LIVING

This senior living community, the latest on the Lexington landscape, offers numerous amenities and top-class touches that make it a vibrant, exciting community.  “We are redefining senior living,” said Jacqueline Kennedy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Legacy Reserve. “If someone has a notion of what senior living looks like, we ask them to tour Legacy Reserve.”  On your visit, you certainly won’t find Legacy Reserve residents just sitting around watching life go by.

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ADULT GUARDIANSHIP: FROM DEMENTIA TO ADDICTION

Guardianship has been a hot topic in Kentucky the past year.  Between the increase in dementia diagnoses and the growing drug epidemic, the court system has had a great influx in the number of guardianship filings over the past few years.  In Kentucky, a guardianship is a legal proceeding during which a jury determines whether an individual is wholly or partially disabled, the court appoints a guardian, thus officially creating a legal relationship between the guardian and the ward.

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with accountability in the relationship.


•  Learn from the struggles – When situations occur, allow them to be a learning experience. Reevaluate the situation afterward and think of ways you will handle it better next time. Grow from every experience.


While adjusting to the stresses of loving someone with a mental illness, it is important to identify sources of support. Consider joining a family support group to meet other people going through the same struggles you may be experiencing. Talking to them can provide hope and understanding. Research has shown family-based programs improve the well-being of individuals with mental illness, as well as that of their partners and families. Join a local family support group to get the education you need and help your loved one overcome his or her illness. You can find support groups at your local hospital or health department or you can contact your local chapter of NAMI.

Many relationships have their ups and downs. No relationship is perfect. It takes a lot of work to sustain a relationship, and having a partner with a mental illness can have a significant impact.


The National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) (www.nami.org) defines mental illness as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feelings or moods. If you are living with a mental illness and are already in a relationship, you may wonder whether you should tell your partner about your mental illness. If you are single and want to be in a relationship, you may wonder if a relationship is right for you. You can build a relationship while dealing with a mental illness if you receive support and acceptance from your partner.


Recent research has found there is a correlation between the type of relationship an individual has and the effect it can have on mental health. If an individual is in a healthy relationship, the partner that is struggling may fight off their mental illness. However, if an individual is in an unhealthy relationship, mental illness can worsen and the person may develop even more problems. In addition, both partners in the relationship can struggle with symptoms of mental illness, says marriage and family therapist Pierre Imlay, MEd, RMFT. It is important for couples to seek professional help if one or both partners have a mental illness.  

HOW TO HELP WITH A PARTNER WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS

Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy relationship while facing mental illness:


•  Learn about the illness and treatments – Research the illness and educate yourself as much as possible. Also, make sure your partner is receiving the appropriate treatment for his or her illness.


•  Seek out professional help – Learn from a health professional how you can help your partner. Make sure your partner is following the instructions received from the health professional. Counseling can also help with the struggles you may encounter. It provides balance and guidance in a situation that can easily become toxic under the wrong circumstances.


•  Maintain positive communication – Keep encouraging your partner. Continue to show and state that you love him. Let her know she has your support.


•  Check in with one another – Talk to one another regularly. Share feelings, needs and expectations. Try to schedule a regular time to talk, such as during dinner or before bedtime. Make sure you are on the same page. This also helps

TANIQUA WARD, M.S

TaNiqua Ward is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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