On this program, we address the mental health needs of
seniors. The issue of improving mental health care for seniors,
which some New Jerseyans may know about on a personal level
but not as a matter of public policy is examined in depth.
In addition, we look at ways in which media and other institutions
can help foster an informed and involved public. The panel
discusses the need and the problem surrounding healthcare
reform for seniors struggling with mental health issues.
Top - Loretta Kaes,
Bottom - Robert Davison, and
Advances in science and technology are enabling people
to live longer than ever, but many older adults undergo
painful lifestyle changes, including retirement and relocation,
the loss of a spouse, friends, and, sometimes, even children.
These stressful events may lead to depression or may worsen
existing mental and physical illnesses. This half-hour program
examines attitudes of both practitioners and clients around
seeking treatment for a myriad of mental health issues,
as well as the availability of services for this often underserved
population. Additionally, the panel suggests ways that healthcare
reform can best meet the needs of this isolated, fearful
and disenfranchised population. This is a topic often overlooked
by mainstream media; thus, we’ll examine ways to foster
greater coordination between the state of New Jersey, the
government and mental health providers. Although there are
some programs in place to help serve this population, they
are complicated, confusing and even if a family qualifies,
that doesn’t guarantee the much needed help is accessible
to everyone. Many seniors slip through the cracks. For example,
a senior who may qualify for several hours of in-home care,
might not receive the much needed services because of a
shortage of in-home health aides. The current system doesn’t
work for many of our loved ones in need.
Dr. William Reichman - A Geriatric Psychiatrist
at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Robert Davison – Licensed Professional
Counselor and Executive Director of the Mental Health Association
of Essex County. Robert Chaired Governor Codey's Task Force
on Mental Health.
David Chmiel - Editor of New Jersey Monthly
Loretta Kaes - A nurse and Vice President
of Clinical Services for Chelsea Senior Living, an assisted
living facility in Summit, New Jersey.