Healthwatch: Seniors and Mental Health

Health care officials say for many people, the 'golden years', aren't so 'golden.' That's because aging brings changes, some which often affect a person's mental state.

"I think a lot of people have the perception that once you retire and get into older years, all things are just easier and happier but that's not the case," said Courtney Vermillion, licensed counselor with Rush Health System's Senior Care Program.

Vermillion says, for many seniors, grief from the loss of loved ones and other life changes often brings depression and isolation. However, help is available.

"Primarily we do group therapy and individual therapy, and they come three days a week for three hours a day for group therapy," Vermillion said.

At least twice a month a psychiatrist visits each of the sites and provides medication to participants who are in need.

Rush Health Systems provides programs of this nature at ten different locations throughout east Mississippi, all the way from Philadelphia to Forest. Transportation is provided for people who live within a 30 mile radius of the site in their area.

It is during the three to six month duration of the program that Vermillion says participants start to notice a difference.

"What I have found is that a lot of times the people that are in our program, they make friends with one another, and so they start making plans and calling one another," said Vermillion. "There are a lot of resources out there to help you cope with the problem."

For more information on the Rush Senior Health Program nearest you, call 601-703-1464.

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