Caring for seniors mental health

Tanya Ferber, owner of Senior Helpers in Fargo
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:35 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - “Most people don’t want to acknowledge that they may need a little help,” says Tanya Ferber, owner of Senior Helpers in Fargo.

As we age, we can expect a lot of changes. With those changes there can come a lot of challenges, including financial and emotional stress.

“This phase of life is definitely one where they are starting to feel a lot of loss. They’ve lost maybe a spouse, they’re losing friends as they’re getting older. They’re feeling a sense of a loss of control,” explains Ferber.

Many seniors are also living on a limited income, so they may have a hard time finding a mental health professional that accepts Medicare.

“I do think it’s very important and it’s very helpful for us all to be supporting one another in making sure that we can care for all of our community members, not just people on private insurance,” says Dr. Jo Ellison of Essentia’s Behavioral Health Department. She explains that current government policies regarding reimbursement rates for private practice mental health services make it challenging for therapists to accept clients using Medicare.

So what can we do to help ourselves and our loved ones as we age?

Ferber says at Senior Helpers, “we work with each family to develop a care plan based around their budget.” They also accept Medicare and other types of insurance. Through Senior Helpers, individuals receive care that also helps them maintain their independence.

If you or a loved one are having challenges with aging, Ferber and Dr. Ellison say local hospitals, charity organizations, and religious groups may be able to provide activities and opportunities for connection.