Older woman and granddaughter standing on balcony

 

Ten years ago, following the deaths of her parents and husband, Sally Hayward moved from Florida, where she’d become increasingly isolated and lonely, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to be closer to her brother. He put her to work picking up his grandchildren from school, and she began to feel useful and connected. But as her osteoarthritis and diabetic neuropathy worsened, she became wheelchair-bound, stopped driving and retreated to her apartment in a complex for senior citizens with disabilities.

Hayward, who had also been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder, found her mental health declining. She only left her apartment for medical appointments, spending most days alone. She lost her desire to do anything or meet anybody. She ate unhealthy food, rarely got dressed, and would only collect her mail at midnight when she was certain nobody in her building would be awake.

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