What do we know about loneliness? It’s as bad for you health as obesity, smoking or not exercising. It shortens your life.
What is it? It’s a subjective feeling of being rejected, ignored, and unwanted. It’s isolation.
People with disabilities and mental illnesses as a group are profoundly lonely and this needs to end…
Imagine knowing the only people in your life are the ones paid to be there (staff, direct support professional, home health aides, etc.). Imagine not having someone there to talk to or hangout with. Imagine not being able to go the store without having people stare at you and ignore you. Imagine never getting a text message or getting like on your Facebook posts (or, a step further, imagine not even being connected to any social media).
You would get sick more often and stay sick longer. Over time, your cognitive abilities would decline faster. You would never reach your full potential. You would die much sooner.
This is why inclusion matters and is a human rights issue. To paraphrase Stevie Wonder, everyone should have access to everything. Every building. Every activity.
Some eye-opening articles to ponder:
Not just the elderly and people with disabilities….https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2017/03/09/the-biggest-threat-facing-middle-age-men-isn-smoking-obesity-loneliness/k6saC9FnnHQCUbf5mJ8okL/amp.html