Empowering Seniors to Overcome Depression

Depression is a common and potentially debilitating – but highly treatable – condition.  Joseph, a local senior in his 70s suffers from social isolation and bouts of sadness.

He noticed that he lost interest in the activities he once liked and felt disconnected from his community. Left untreated, Joseph’s quality of life and health were at risk of severe decline. An additional challenge Joseph faced was the fact that he could no longer drive. Making an appointment to see a counselor out of the home wasn’t an option. Because of mobility issues, Joseph could not get the help he needed. 

JFCS logoTogether with his family and healthcare providers, Joseph was connected to Jewish Family and Child Service, a Federation-supported local agency.  With JFCS’s help, Joseph was enrolled into their PEARLS program (administered along with the Aging and Disability Resource Connection). This in-home, no-cost counseling service gave Joseph the help and hope he needed to live his life to its fullest.

With the help of his PEARLS counselor, Joseph developed goals and strategies for enhancing his self-care, social interactions, and physical activity. He learned and mastered problem-solving skills, and his depression began to dissipate. After completing the program, Joseph was also more closely linked with community-based healthcare services that helped him continue to boost his mood and energy levels. It was a personal triumph when Joseph’s improved outlook enabled him to participate in social events at his local senior center.

Since 2014, JFCS has been providing in-home services to isolated seniors at high risk for depression and other mental health issues through a contract with the Multnomah County Department of Human Services, Aging and Disability Services Division. This initiative focuses on teaching the problem solving skills necessary to move to action and make lasting life changes to improve quality of life.

Because of your support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, we are able to help agencies like JFCS find innovative solutions in enhancing the quality of life for our seniors.

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