Several local health and human services agencies completed a nationally-recognized, evidence based, two-day intense training to assist older adults in recognizing and managing symptoms of depression.
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources and hosted by the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging and the Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging, 40 individuals representing the CCAAA, JCAAA, Guardian Home and Community Services, Community Nurses, The Community Guidance Center and SAM Inc. completed the Health IDEAS program conducted by national trainer Esther Steinberg.
Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) is a community depression program designed to detect and reduce the severity of depressive symptoms in older adults with chronic health conditions and functional limitations.
The program incorporates four, evidence-based components into the ongoing service delivery of care/case management or social service programs serving older individuals in the home environment or other private location.
Healthy IDEAS was developed by the Baylor College of Medicine and sponsored by the National Council on Aging. It was noted that 20 percent of Americans have some form of depression, most without knowing it.
Clinical depression can often accompany long-term chronic illnesses that are common later in life, such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis. Six million elderly suffer from some form of depression, which can be a serious medical condition that can magnify disability and lead to premature death.
When coupled with chronic illness, and pain, depression can also impair functioning and independence.
Participation in the Healthy IDEAS program has significantly reduced s/s depression in individuals who complete the 90-day program that transfers skills to individuals to manage their symptoms.
While Healthy IDEAS is offered by more than 100 organizations in 25 states, Clearfield and Jefferson Counties will be the first in Pennsylvania to offer the program.
Additional information can be obtained at www.careforelders.org or by calling 1800-225-8571 or 1-800-852-8036.