With May being Mental Health Awareness month, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and the services we offer at Senior Life Solutions. We provide group and individual therapy for an older adult population. We provide these services in person or by using a telehealth platform.
Due to COVID-19, mental health challenges have been on the rise in the senior population. This can be due to many factors, but isolation and loneliness appear to be two of the largest contributing factors. If you know or are an older adult struggling through this pandemic, there is help available. Many people feel ashamed, anxious or embarrassed about entering group therapy. This is normal. But for most people, even after one session they feel that they have been heard by their peers and understood by people that are going through very similar situations.
Things that you might have noticed about yourself or a loved one like changes in appetite, sleep patterns, not enjoying the things in life that you used to enjoy or giving up on hobbies, can all indicate emotional distress. These are all symptoms of depression that many people mistake for “normal aging.”
Grief is another issue that affects seniors. If you have recently lost a spouse, family member or loved one, your life might be feeling out of control, hopeless or meaningless. It may feel like you are going through all of this alone or that no one could possibly understand. I have had many people say similar statements to me when they first start this program.
But the truth is, there are many people who have gone through and are going through what you are experiencing right now. That is where the power of group therapy comes in. Recognizing your story in another person can give the feeling of hope and that recovery is a possibility.
For some people, “the golden years” are not as golden as they should be. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it can seem that there is no way to get out to attend a program like this. This is where telehealth plays a huge role. We are able to offer these services and you are able to attend group from your home. Telehealth has been a real game changer during this pandemic as it has allowed people who otherwise would not be able to attend group and individual sessions get the help that they deserve.
If you or someone you know could be helped by our services, call our office at (989) 246-6339 and we’ll guide you from there. On a personal note, I have been the program therapist since the beginning, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with many people and see the improvements that people make as they progress through the program. I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to play a part in people’s lives changing for the better.
David Bailey, L.M.S.W., is the program therapist for Senior Life Solutions.