The population of adults over the age of 65 makes up for 17.4% of Jefferson County and 16.9% nationwide. This is projected to nearly double by 2060. Many older adults felt the pandemic’s impact with increased isolation, subsequent depression and anxiety and various health issues.
Mental health problems are under identified by health care professionals and older people themselves, and the stigma surrounding these conditions makes people reluctant to seek help. Depression occurs in 7% of the general older population. Depression is both underdiagnosed and undertreated in primary care settings. Symptoms are often overlooked and untreated because they co-occur with other problems encountered by older adults.
Older people with depressive symptoms have poorer functioning compared to those with chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, hypertension or diabetes. Depression also increases the perception of poor health, the utilization of health care services and costs.
Fortunately, at Jefferson Center we have an age specific team trained and passionate about working with older adults. Our clinicians work under two different teams: Senior Services Outpatient and Senior Reach. Senior Reach is a short term, community-based program where older adults receive care in the comfort of their own homes. Within our program, we offer not just individually tailored therapy but also evidence-based groups including hoarding specific treatment as well as grief and loss.
We work regularly with community members on advancing care and communication to enhance collective support for older adults in the Jeffco area. We provide community outreach and presentations to capture and support our aging population.
We work creatively with funders such as DRCOG and Next50 to provide care for those that may not be able to access robust services due to deficits in Medicare and other commercial insurance benefits.
We also partner with our Wellness team to provide health coaching to a senior community in Lakewood as well as Senior Reach services specifically for our Spanish speaking population through our Centro Dones program.