Getting a Grip on Senior Depression

After Sylvia’s husband died, her friends tried to buoy her spirits by keeping her busy. Not a week went by when she wasn’t at the theater or symphony. But as time went on and invitations tapered off, Sylvia began feeling despondent. “I couldn’t shake this malaise,” she said. “My doctor said I was fine, but I knew better. I’d heard about the Seniors At Home program to help people who were depressed, so I made an appointment for a consultation.”

senior woman

Sylvia met with a JFCS therapist for a couple of months to discuss the despair and loneliness she felt after losing her life partner of 56 years. “Just talking to an intelligent, empathetic person was a relief,” she said. “She was so insightful about what I was going through and made me feel that what I was experiencing was natural and normal. The holidays can be a hard time—I lost Murray around Thanksgiving last year—but I feel a little more resilient going into the holiday season this year.”

“Because so many seniors are living alone and dealing with a variety of life challenges—including physical disabilities and the deaths of loved ones and friends—they are more prone to depression, which is often felt most acutely at the holiday season,” says Nancy Masters, MSW, Director of JFCS in Marin County. “The good news is that JFCS and Seniors At Home have innovative programs to address depression among our older clients.”

In addition to highly trained therapists and counselors, JFCS offers support from caring community members, who assist seniors at risk of depression. Learn more about wonderful volunteer opportunities to help seniors.

If you know someone who can benefit from Seniors At Home’s programs that combat depression, call 415-449-3777.