Teletherapy Helps Seniors Cope with Depression

An outpatient program at Decatur Memorial Hospital supports area seniors with individual and group therapy offered through teletherapy.

“Our Senior Behavioral Health Outpatient Program is a great tool to help those who may be showing signs of depression during this time of great uncertainty and isolation,” said Joe Drew, LPC, outpatient therapist with Decatur Memorial Health. “We check in with our seniors on the phone or use a tablet to connect them with others in an online group therapy setting.”

Signs of depression may include:

  • Sadness, feeling down
  • No motivation
  • Change in appetite
  • Little to no energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or dying

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis like COVID-19 include people with underlying medical conditions, existing mental health issues, people at higher risk of severe illness, people who live alone or even people in shared or congregant housing.

“We work with our seniors on emotion management, building self, relaxation skills and purposeful living,” Drew added. “The group meets online twice a week, and many have benefited from the support, encouragement and resources we offer.”

The Senior Behavioral Health Outpatient Program is available for those 50 and older. For more information, call 217-876-8390 to ask questions or set up an appointment.