Older adults can experience the same mental health challenges as younger people. So why does it seem like only young and middle-aged populations are targeted in campaigns for better access to mental health care? We don’t know either, but we want to change that.
In many cases, older people experience more severe mental health challenges than younger generations due to the isolation of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath is proud to introduce the following resources for our elderly population in Florida.
We stand by older adults and believe it’s our duty to make sure their legal rights are protected. After all, they’re among the most vulnerable populations in our state, and they have the right to receive mental health care just like everyone else does.
Geriatric: Practice of medicine relating to old age
Psychiatry: Medical speciality devoted to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. This is different from psychology.
Geriatric psychiatry is a medical speciality devoted to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of mental health disorders in people aged 65 and above. In addition to diagnosis and treatment, geriatric psychiatry places an emphasis on mental conditions associated with normal aging.
In other words, geriatric psychiatry isn’t just for older people already suffering from mental health disorders—it’s a way for older people to understand and recognize what may be going on in their mind as their body ages.
Here are a few of our favorite Florida-based geriatric counseling and support centers:
Different Like Me
Different Like Me (DLM) offers many services specifically designed for older adults, including cognitive rehabilitation for individuals with memory disorders and cognitive impairment. Cognitive rehabilitation is a type of therapy that helps improve, compensate for, or maintain cognitive abilities.
DLM also offers traditional counseling services for seniors at both its Delray Beach and Boca Raton locations. Senior counseling is therapy that targets specific age-related mental health challenges, such as:
- Chronic illness
- Losing friends and family members
- Family stressors
- Financial concerns
Get in touch with DLM by filling out an online contact form or by calling (561) 270-2280. All services are offered at both Delray Beach and Boca Raton locations.
MIND Institute (Miami Jewish Health)
As its website avows, the MIND Institute at Miami Jewish Health offers a “warm, inclusive environment devoted to healthy aging, cognitive fitness, innovative research, and empathetic support” for elderly Floridians living with memory problems and changes, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related neurocognitive disorders.
Many neurocognitive and neurodegenerative conditions are associated with mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. The MIND Institute helps alleviate those symptoms through cognitive care planning, one-on-one counseling sessions, and fun, stimulating activities either carried out one-on-one with a MIND coach or in a group with other seniors.
These group activities help combat mental health issues associated with isolation and inactivity, but the best part is, seniors actually enjoy them. With such offerings as music and art therapy and museum visits, participants in the MIND Institute’s Girsh Cognitive Enrichment Program are sure to find something they’ll enjoy and look forward to.
Inpatient Mental Health Programs
For older adults experiencing sudden or significant mental distress, we recommend the Hope Program for Older Adults, located in the Fort Lauderdale Behavioral Health Center.
The Hope Program is a specialized inpatient center that provides prompt psychiatric stabilization, assessment, and treatment of behavioral and emotional disorders. With 30 beds, the center is relatively small, which means staff provide full, intensive support for patients.
To learn more about the Hope Program for Older Adults, fill out the online contact form or call the Fort Lauderdale Behavioral Health Center at (800) 585-7527.
Therapy and medication are invaluable tools, but the most effective way to alleviate symptoms is to incorporate social or community programs within the scope of treatment. In some cases, socialization helps elderly people cope with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions more than medication.
Of course, if you or your loved one is showing signs of a mental health disorder, you should speak with a doctor and follow their recommendations rather than relying on socialization. But if you’ve already met with a doctor and feel that a community program is the next best step, consider one of the programs we’ve selected below.
Senior Companion Program
We’ve emphasized the importance of social activity for older adults throughout this blog, but we can’t stress enough how even a small act of service or compassionate bonding can help a senior in distress feel better.
Florida’s Senior Companion Program pairs volunteers with elderly residents who need help doing everyday tasks, including:
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Grocery shopping
- Meal preparation
Senior Companion Programs also provides daily companionship and respite for seniors, helping maintain mental alertness and improving health among this vulnerable population.
211 Touchline (Broward County)
Similar to the Senior Companions Program, 211 Touchline is a free social and well-being service that offers a daily phone call to people aged 60 and over who live alone. The main purpose of the program is to ensure that older adults maintain their well-being and sense of safety, which can often be compromised when someone is living alone and may worry about their environment.
Through the 211 Touchline, seniors can also receive appointment reminders, and they can customize how often they’d like to receive their call (every day, twice a week, etc.). The 211 Touchline connects seniors with a real, friendly person on the other end who provides a sense of security and can connect seniors with community resources.
To sign up for 211 Touchline, simply sign up through the online application.
Want more older adult mental health resources? We can help.
Florida has a large elderly population, and the best way to ensure their health and well-being is to provide access to mental health resources. All of the resources provided above are based in Florida. Some are free, but others have a residence or treatment fee.
To learn more about older adult mental health resources, call the Florida nursing home abuse lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990.