Behavioral health professionals discuss depression with seniors
“What do you do to relieve stress?” asked board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, Rashesh Dholakia, M.D., MPH, while addressing a group of seniors at the Robert J. Drake Senior Community Center in Hawley.
Answers ranging from “shop,” “eat” and “spending time with grandchildren” racked among the most popular during an educational discussion on depression in the elderly.
Dr. Dholakia and Dorothy Walline, licensed clinical social worker, both from Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) Behavioral Health Services, served as speakers for Wayne County Area Agency on Aging’s PrimeTime Health Program during the month of March. Presentations were held in Hawley, Honesdale and Hamlin senior centers. Collectively, the pair spoke to more than 60 individuals.
Dr. Dholakia reminded attendees “to help others you have to be a priority to yourself.” His discussion stressed the importance of exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight as well as the benefits derived from positive social relationships. He explained as we age, our brains experience cognitive changes and some issues such as minor forgetfulness are normal. However, depression or loss of desire to socialize is not.
The following are warning signs indicating one may be experiencing depression: consistently depressed mood or sadness for at least two weeks; losing interest in activities you used to enjoy; feelings of guilt or worthiness; trouble sleeping; changes in appetite; regular thoughts of death and social withdrawal. Dr. Dholakia urged those experiencing such symptoms to seek help by speaking to their family physician or mental health expert for proper evaluation and follow up.
Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), clinical affiliate of Wayne Memorial Health System, Inc., offers outpatient behavioral health services in both Wayne and Pike Counties. Inquiries regarding services may be made by calling Honesdale Behavioral Health at 570-253-8219 or Pike Behavioral Health at 570-775-4081.
Seen at the Robert J. Drake Senior Community Center following a presentation on “Depression in the Elderly” are Rashesh Dholakia, M.D., MPH, board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, Pike Behavioral Health Center, and Lucretia Seagraves, manager, Hawley Senior Center.