The Emeritus BluesBusters Seek to Ease Depression among Seniors

KSCB News - October 22, 2013 11:09 am

Liberal, KS October 22, 2013 – With daylight growing shorter and holiday decorations beginning to festoon the stores, it can be a sensitive time for seniors. Already more prone to depression than the young people, the problem can be exacerbated for those worrying about how the circumstances and processes of aging may change the coming holiday season. Emeritus at Liberal Springs’s “BluesBusters” will be out in force in October and November to help local seniors not only survive the holidays, but thrive.

Depression affects 15% of Americans over age 65, according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation; this figure is five percentage points higher than the incidence in the overall population.

“From experience, we know that for seniors, this time of year can be a trigger,” said Misti Bohl community relations director of Emeritus at Liberal Spring. “Increased hours of darkness can lower their spirits. Additionally, they may be thinking about how the inability to travel will keep them from spending the holidays with family. For those who have lost spouses or others dear to them, they might be worrying about getting through seasonal festivities without their loved ones at their side.”

To combat the problem, the “BluesBusters,” a group of professionals from Emeritus at Liberal Springs, will be visiting area seniors in their homes in October and November to conduct a complimentary emotional wellness check, providing tools and resources to engage them in activities known to fight depression.

“These include exercise, which is a natural mood elevator; activities that give a mental and physical lift; and socializing,” said Community Relations Director Bohl, noting that numerous studies have shown engagement with other people improves health mentally and physically.

As part of the BluesBusters’ initiative, the seniors will be invited to take part in six free activities and events at emeritus at Liberal Springs, such as exercise and art classes, concerts, parties and dining opportunities.

The BluesBusters effort is part of Liberal Springs’s complimentary Home Visits program, in which the community’s professionals periodically visit area seniors in their homes to provide companionship and support. This outreach reflects the central operating philosophy of ‘Safely Somewhere’ of Emeritus Senior Living, parent organization of Liberal Springs.

“Through this philosophy, we strive to do all we can to ensure that seniors are living in safe, meaningful environments, whether they reside at our community, in their long-time homes, or somewhere else,” said Community Relations Director Bohl. In the past year, Emeritus Senior Living communities nationwide have conducted more than 70,000 free Home Visits.

If you would like to recommend an area senior for a visit by the BluesBusters, contact Emeritus at Liberal Springs at (620) 624-8000 or email [email protected]

 

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