Senior Prom is Tomorrow, May 15 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center (1625 Northport Dr. Madison) This is a fun and free community event for seniors. Call Katie for more information- 608-243-5252.
Marvin Tolkin was 83 when he decided that the unexamined life wasn’t worth living. Until then, it had never occurred to him that there might be emotional “issues” he wanted to explore with a counselor.
“I don’t think I ever needed therapy,” said Mr. Tolkin, a retired manufacturer of women’s undergarments who lives in Manhattan and Hewlett Harbor, N.Y.
Though he wasn’t clinically depressed, Mr. Tolkin did suffer from migraines and “struggled through a lot of things in my life” — the demise of a long-term business partnership, the sudden death of his first wife 18 years ago. He worried about his children and grandchildren, and his relationship with his current wife, Carole.
“When I hit my 80s I thought, ‘The hell with this.’ I don’t know how long I’m going to live, I want to make it easier,” said Mr. Tolkin, now 86. “Everybody needs help, and everybody makes mistakes. I needed to reach outside my own capabilities.”
So Mr. Tolkin began seeing , a professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan. They meet once a month for 45 minutes, exploring the problems that were weighing on Mr. Tolkin. “Dr. Abrams is giving me a perspective that I didn’t think about,” he said. “It’s been making the transition of living at this age in relation to my family very doable and very livable.”
Mr. Tolkin is one of many seniors who are seeking psychological help late in life. Most never set foot near an analyst’s couch in their younger years. But now, as people are living longer, and the stigma of psychological counseling has diminished, they are recognizing that their golden years might be easier if they alleviate the problems they have been carrying around for decades. It also helps that pays for psychiatric assessments and therapy.
“We’ve been seeing more people in their 80s and older over the past five years, many who have never done therapy before,” said , a professor of research in the department of psychiatry at Stanford. “Usually, they’ve tried other resources like their church, or talked to family. They’re realizing that they’re living longer, and if you’ve got another 10 or 15 years, why be miserable if there’s something that can help you?”
Some of these older patients are clinically depressed. The National Alliance on Mental Illness . But many are grappling with issues unaddressed for decades, as well as contemporary concerns about new living arrangements, finances, chronic health problems, the loss of loved ones and their own mortality.
“It’s never too late, if someone has never dealt with issues,” said Judith Repetur, a clinical social worker in New York who works almost exclusively with older patients, many of whom are seeking help for the first time. “A combination of stresses late in life can bring up problems that weren’t resolved.”
That members of the Greatest Generation would feel comfortable talking to a therapist, or acknowledging psychological distress, is a significant change. Many grew up in an era when only “crazy” people sought psychiatric help. They would never admit to themselves — and certainly not others — that anything might be wrong.
“For people in their 80s and 90s now, depression was considered almost a moral weakness,” said Dr. Gallagher-Thompson. “Fifty years ago, when they were in their 20s and 30s, people were locked up and someone threw away the key. They had a terrible fear that if they said they were depressed, they were going to end up in an institution. So they learned to look good and cover their problems as best they could.”
But those attitudes have shifted over time, along with the medical community’s understanding of mental illness among seniors. In the past, the assumption was that if older people were acting strangely or having problems, it was probably . But now, “the awareness of depression, anxiety disorders and as possible problems has grown,” said , a professor of gerontology and psychology at the University of Southern California, and the author of “Psychotherapy With Older Adults.”
A found that about half of all Americans ages 50 to 70 will be at high risk for alcohol and marijuana abuse by 2020, compared with less than 9 percent in 1999.
In years past, too, there was a sense among medical professionals that a patient often could not be helped after a certain age unless he had received treatment earlier in life. Freud noted that around age 50, “the elasticity of the mental process on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking,” adding, “Old people are no longer educable.” (Never mind that he continued working until he died at 83.)
“That’s been totally turned around by what we’ve learned about cognitive psychology and cognitive approach — changing the way you think about things, redirecting your emotions in more positive ways,” said , a gerontologist and professor of human development at Cornell, and author of “30 Lessons for Living.”
Treatment regimens can be difficult in this population. Antidepressants, for instance, can have unpleasant side effects and only add to the pile of pills many elderly patients take daily. Older patients may feel that they don’t have the time necessary to explore psychotherapy, or that it’s too late to change.
But many eagerly embrace talk therapy, particularly cognitive behavioral techniques that focus on altering thought patterns and behaviors affecting their quality of life now. Experts say that seniors generally have a higher satisfaction rate in therapy than younger people because they are usually more serious about it. Time is critical, and their goals usually are well defined.
“Older patients realize that time is limited and precious and not to be wasted,” said Dr. Abrams. “They tend to be serious about the discussion and less tolerant of wasted time. They make great patients.”
After her husband died two years ago, Miriam Zatinsky, a retired social worker who is now 87, moved into an independent living facility at Miami Jewish Health Systems. It was a difficult transition to make late in life.
“It was really strange to me, and I couldn’t seem to make any friends here,” Ms. Zatinsky said. “I really couldn’t find my way. I was having a terrible time.”
The medical director for mental health at the facility, , a told her that her problems were not unusual for someone in her situation, and encouraged her to make some friends. He prescribed Xanax to help with anxiety, which she said she rarely takes, and he put her in touch with a social worker, Shyla Ford, whom Ms. Zatinsky saw once a week until Ms. Ford moved (Ms. Zatinsky now has a new social worker she talks to). They strategized on how she could reach out. And slowly, she did.
“Sitting at the table for dinner, you talk to people,” said Ms. Zatinsky, who has become president of her building.
Typically, 15 to 20 sessions of talk therapy are enough to help an older patient, unless he or she is struggling with a lifetime’s worth of significant problems. Still, even long-term issues can be overcome.
After a debilitating depression in which she spent three months unable to get out of bed, Judita Grosz, 69, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., decided to see Dr. Agronin, who prescribed medication. (She also tried group therapy but didn’t like it.) He also practiced some cognitive behavioral techniques with her — for instance, requiring her to get dressed every day for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Eventually, she began to feel better. “I learned to adjust my thinking, and I don’t get as anxious as I used to,” said Ms. Grosz, who has since begun making and selling jewelry. “I found out at this age that I am artistic and creative and innovative and smart. I just woke up to the fact that I have a mind of my own. Talk about a late bloomer.”
Dr. Agronin, who still meets with Ms. Grosz monthly, said, “You might not be able to gain a magical insight and wrap up their entire life in therapy, but you might be able to accomplish one or two small but meaningful goals.”
Sometimes, what older patients really need is help putting a lifetime in perspective.
“Things can be seen differently from the perspective of old age that relieve some guilt and challenge assumptions that you’ve had for decades,” Dr. Abrams said. “ ‘Maybe it wasn’t too terrible after all; maybe I shouldn’t blame myself.’ Maybe some of your worst mistakes weren’t so egregious, and maybe there were unavoidable circumstances you couldn’t control.”
Mr. Tolkin still stops by Dr. Abrams’s office for a monthly checkup.
“Everybody has a certain amount of heartache in life — it’s how you handle the heartache that is the essential core of your life,” Mr. Tolkin said. “I found that my attitude was important, and I had to reinforce positive things all the time.”
He said he wishes he had tried therapy years ago. But he adds: “I can’t go back. I can only go forward.”
For the entire article and video, please visit the site: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/how-therapy-can-help-in-the-golden-years/
Multicultural Health Fair
Friday, 10 May, 9-11:30am WPCRC
Again this year, our Health Fair will have plenty of booths, presentation and free health screenings.
Senior Adult Prom
Wednesday, 15 May, 6:30-8:30pm, WPCRC
This year, the prom will be held at Warner Park. Come and join us the the Wild West for a good time! Please mark your calendar for this fun event!
Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act on Jan. 1, solving at least part of the “fiscal cliff” dilemma of significant spending cuts and increased taxes.
The legislation includes both positives and negatives for older adults.
To start, the statute delays for two months the automatic, across-the-board cuts that were scheduled to take effect with the new year. These would have cut “discretionary” programs like the Older Americans Act, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, and low-income energy assistance (LIHEAP) by over 8%.
On the plus side, the legislation extends funding for efforts to find and enroll low-income individuals into Medicare programs that can help them pay their health care costs. NCOA led this effort and greatly appreciates the leadership of Sens. Baucus (D-MT), Rockefeller (D-WV), and Casey (D-PA) in securing this funding.
On the negative side, we’re disappointed that the statute repeals the CLASS program, which was enacted as part of health reform and was designed to help people afford long-term services and supports. In its place, the bill creates a new Long-Term Care Commission that is charged with developing a comprehensive plan for Congress.
The legislation does not include significant cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. However, it is expected that Republican members will insist on cutting these programs in negotiations taking place over the next 2-3 months. NCOA remains very concerned about how these cuts may impact vulnerable seniors.
Below are more details on the final fiscal cliff bill:
Medicare physician payments
There will be a one-year delay in a scheduled 27% cut in Medicare physician payments.
Medicare help for low-income individuals
Funding for the Medicare Qualified Individual program is extended for a year. QI pays Medicare Part B premiums for beneficiaries with incomes between 120-135% of poverty.
There is a one-year extension of emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed.
The top income tax rate would return to 39.6% for singles with incomes above $400,000 and married couples with incomes above $450,000. Dividends and capital gains would be taxed at 20% for those with incomes above these levels, while it would remain at 15% for those below.
The rate increases from 35% to 40% for estates above $5 million in assets, adjusted for inflation in the future.
The temporary cut that has been in effect for the past two years will expire for all taxpayers.
This summit will be held Thursday, 14 March at the Bishop O’Connor Center (702 S. High Point Rd). Dr. Jayne Greenberg (President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition) and Cindy Sisson Hensley (Co-founder of ConnectTIVITY) will join a group of local leaders to address health issues in the greater Madison community, with a special focus on Childhood Obesity, Health Disparity and Health Literacy. “Dane County can be a real leader in healthy living, but we still have a long way to go. We have national experts and researchers, topnotch healthcare providers, a farmer’s market second to none, and high profile events for active people,” said Aaron Doeppers, Manager for State and Local Obesity Initiatives for the national office of the American Heart Association and co-chair of the 2013 Healthy Living Summit. “But it is easy to forget that 24 percent of adults are obese and the 13 percent of our county’s children living in poverty don’t have the same healthy living opportunities. The goal of this summit is to bridge these gaps. We will inform, act, and energize toward building a healthier county for everyone.”
The Healthy Living Summit will provide a platform to examine the state of health within the community and start a meaningful discussion about what can be done to improve it, including various workshops, speakers and discussion panels. It’s a partnership between numerous health care providers and leaders, including; YMCA of Dane County, Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, Meriter Health Services, Access Community Health Centers, American Family Children’s Hospital, American Heart Association, Dean & St. Mary’s, Health First Wisconsin, Public Health Madison & Dane County, UW Health, and Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources. If you’re interested in learning more about the 2013 Healthy Living Summit please contact Sharon Covey (664-9622 ext.1015 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The holidays are a joyful time for many, but can also be a sorrowful time for those who plan to spend the season alone.
Thankfully, there a few locations in the Madison area that offer a free Christmas meal for anyone in the community.
Position: Case Manager (.5 FTE)
Date Posted: 4 December 2012
Application Deadline: 17 December 2012
The North/Eastside Senior Coalition (a non-profit organization) is seeking an organized and compassionate individual who understands the aging process and quality of life issues to serve as a Case Manager. Under the direction of the Lead Case Manager, you will be an advocate for the area’s senior adults living in Madison’s north and east sides by assessing their needs and implementing plans to meet those needs. You will have frequent contact with other DaneCounty and City of Madison service agencies as well as the general public, especially senior adults.
The successful candidate will have knowledge or experience in providing human services and of the resources available for adults in the community. Show sensitivity to issues of diversity, including those relating to gender, class, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and disability, in delivery of services, working with volunteers and providing programs in a multi-use facility. Experience providing case management services for adults with mental health and or AODA concerns is preferred. Possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Human Services, or a related field. A Certified Social Worker License (State of Wisconsin) is preferred. Valid Wisconsin Driver’s License, acceptable driving record, and reliable transportation are required.
General: Implement advocacy activities which enable senior adults to achieve or maintain optimum independence in their community through assessment of need and coordination and monitoring of community-based services. Follow a comprehensive assessment protocol that includes a face-to-face interview with the client and assesses the needs while respecting the value and strengths of each client. Engage individual clients in the development of a service plan tailored to meet the client’s unique needs, circumstances, and preferences as determined through the assessment. Assist clients in arranging, coordinating, and monitoring services. Provides leadership and communicate the mission of the agency to others on the staff, to volunteers, and to the broader community.
Administrative: Maintain client records that include assessment, service plans, and case notes. Prepare monthly and quarterly client case management reports for Dane County and City of Madison. Assist in overseeing case management interns.
Professional Development: Represents NESCO at a variety of professional events, meetings, and other community events when appropriate. Attends continuing education programs to maintain state social worker license (if applicable).
Compensation & Benefits
The position in non-exempt and requires a variable work schedule with flexibility. Work hours generally fall between 8 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday but some night and weekend hours may be required. Pay is based on 50% of an FTE Salary of $31,200, plus benefits which include Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, 403B Thrift Plan, Short and Long Term Disability Insurance, vacation, sick leave, holidays, professional training, free parking and a great working environment with friendly, committed coworkers.
How to Apply
Please apply by 17 December. Applications must include a completed North/Eastside Senior Coalition job application or a cover letter detailing experience related to the above qualifications, and a resume. Application materials are available by calling (608) 243-5252 or emailing email@example.com.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Cada día es más frecuente escuchar casos de violencia intrafamiliar en la comunidad latina.
Violencia entre los cónyuges, de los padres hacia los niños, de hermano a hermano, etc., etc.
Las personas mayores o de la tercera edad, no se escapan de este mal trato y muchas veces no se dan cuenta de ello por considerarlo parte del funcionamiento de la familia o por miedo.
Cuando oímos violencia creemos que se refiere solo a golpes, pero esto no es así, pues el abuso tiene múltiples facetas.
El abuso puede ser físico, mental o financiero.
Abuso físico puede ser : Recibir golpes, empujones, jalones o cualquier cosa que cause dolor o herida física en el cuerpo.
Abuso mental: Se considera todo lo que cause dolor interno, en el espíritu o en la mente. Este sufrimiento se ocasiona por mal trato como insultos, palabras que ataquen nuestra autoestima o nuestra integridad mental. Este abuso es el más dificil de identificar y la persona que lo está sufriendo no cree que le están abusando y que todo esto es parte de la violencia doméstica también.
Abuso financiero. Sucede cuando la persona a cargo de manejar los recursos financieros de la persona mayor, hace mal uso de ellos y muchas veces utiliza el chantaje emocional o engaño para disponer del dinero o propiedades. Hay otro tipo de abuso financiero que cuestra trabajo de detectar, es el de pedir a una persona mayor que haga labores domésticas, como lavar la ropa, cocinar, limpiar la casa, cuidado de los niños, sin que esta persona reciba remuneración alguna y muchas veces ni siquiera recibe a cambio las cosas de primera necesidad como son tener comida; un lugar cómodo donde dormir,; ropa adecuada para el tipo de clina anual o no darles artículos de aseo personal.
Para las personas de la tercera edad es muy dificil denunciar a su abusador/a o abusadores, porque muchas veces viven y dependen de ellos y no tienen otras opciones.
En la North/Eastside Senior Coalition las trabajadoras sociales bilingues y la especialista de diversidad cultural trabajan conjuntamente para identificar el abuso doméstico contra las personas mayores para identificar el problema y poder buscar los recursos de ayuda en las agencias que puedan proporcionar los servicios que se requieran.
El personal realiza visitas domiciliarias para evaluar el ambiente en que vive la persona mayor y en las reuniones de los grupos de apoyo se invita a expertos en la materia para que proporcionen educación y recursos que eviten o ayuden a resolver problemas relacionados con estos tipos de abuso.
Every day it becomes more frequent to hear cases of domestic violence in the Latino community.
Violence between spouses, towards children, between siblings, etc.
Older adults or seniors cannot escape this bad treatment and often don’t realize, is it a part of the operation of the family or should be feared.
Abuse has many facets. Abuse can be physical, mental or financial. Physical abuse may be anything that causes pain or physical injury to the body. Mental abuse is considered everything that causes inner pain, in spirit or mind. This suffering is caused by bad treatment as insults, words that attack our self-esteem or our mental integrity. This abuse is the more difficult to identify, and the person who is suffering does not believe that they are being abused. Financial abuse happens when the person in charge of managing the financial resources of the older person, makes bad use of the money and often uses emotional blackmail or deception to dispose of the money or property.
For older people it is very difficult to denounce your abuser or abusers, because many live with the abuser and depend on them and have no other options.
The North/Eastside Senior Coalition Bilingual Case Managers and Cultural Diversity Specialist work together to identify the domestic abuse against an older person to identify the problem and be able to get the correct resources and agencies that can provide the services that you require.
NESCO staff perform home visits to assess the environment in which the older person lives and also provides support groups meetings which invites experts in the field to provide education and resources that prevent or help solve problems related to these types of abuse.
Lakeview Lutheran Church on Northport Drive (4001 Mandrake Rd.) is having a free Thanksgiving Dinner at Noon on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22nd.
Please call 244-6181 to reserve a dinner. All are welcome. No deliveries, takeouts only for diners after 1:30pm.
Funding assistance from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.