FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – According to the American Psychological Association, one in four adults 65 and older experience a mental health problem like depression, anxiety, or dementia.

That is why one local organization is providing resources to help Valley seniors improve their emotional, psychological, and social well-being as they age.

“As you get older, things change, life changes. So, for example, you were raising children, they were in the home. Now, they are gone. They have their own family. A lot of these people are dealing with the loss of a loved one. They are grieving and they don’t know how to grieve properly, and then there are also chronic illnesses that come with age.”

Mental health problems are common among senior citizens.

“A lot of these people are by themselves, they are isolated and lonely, and those are all risk factors for depression, anxiety, and just not being able to notice health issues going on within yourself.”

So, staying mentally and physically active is important to prevent cognitive and physical decline, especially for senior citizens.

“People need people. We are lonely at home. We need someone to talk to. We need to make friends. We need to come out to the community and be active. That’s part of improving your health or maintaining your health so that you can live at the home, you can live out in the community.”

The Fresno Center Adult Day Health-Care Center or ADHC is a community-based adult services program designed to reduce isolation, improve health, and prevent a decline in independent abilities.

“We saw the needs for older adults, who have cognitive impairment with behavioral problems.”

The ADHC provides a variety of medical, therapeutic, rehabilitative, and recreational services to help patrons keep living amongst their community

“If you stay home doing nothing and just watching the TV, it’s not going to help you do anything so it’s better to come and learn something new.”

Maria G Casas attends the Fresno Center’s ADHC daily and enjoys playing bingo, dancing and connecting with her peers.

“I love it because I meet a lot of new people that I’ve never seen before.”

The programs are developed to serve adults 18 years or older with a chronic medical illness, cognitive decline and/or mental health conditions and provides transportation to and from so families don’t have to worry.

“We realize that there are caregivers in our community. People that love their family very much and want to have a normal life but because of the disability that someone might have in their household, they are altered and maybe they have to give up income, stay at home, and be a care provider. This way, having a center like this is a safe place they can send their loved one to make sure they are safe, well-fed, nourished, and taken care of so they can go on to work and live a fairly normal life.”

However, it is important to recognize changes in your loved ones as they age and open the dialogue to discussing their mental well-being so that they can seek treatment and keep enjoying life to its fullest.

“Things that family members could look for would be sleep disturbances, that’s a big one, so if they notice hey, they are sleeping more during the day and they are up all night. That’s a red flag to me. If they have kind of isolated themselves, that’s another important thing, so if they are not wanting to socialize or get around with other people or do things that they used to love to do. Those are all kinds of red flags that would trigger me to ask further questions.”


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