Depression is the condition that drives most people to the psychiatrist office seeking treatment. For older people, getting that treatment can be a challenge. There’s a shortage of geriatric psychiatrists in California and across the nation. Giorgio Perissinotto is one such patient. He drives five hours from Santa Barbara to San Francisco to see his doctor.
Author: Veronica Moscoso
LGBT Seniors in San Francisco find an affordable home and unique space to build community with others thanks to a partnership with Openhouse and Mercy Housing.
Realizing a one doctor’s dream, a combined housing and senior services center serves one of San Francisco’s historically African American neighborhoods.
“What happens with Seniors who dance on a regular basis is they will find that their balance improves that their strength improves. That their confidence goes way up,” says Kathryn Roszak, founder of “The Next Step” movement for seniors.
As California ages, demands soars for geriatricians.
People with dementia, if isolated, can withdraw into their own world. But when engaged with others, their condition, or at least their wellbeing, can improve. A Fairfield music therapist who works with people with dementia has seen physical, emotions and cognitive improvements in her clients.
Silvia Jones, Daughter/Caregiver, “My parents do need care. They are getting older. They are past 70-years-old. They are both retired. Mom specially needs care she has osteoarthritis, she is also a breast cancer survivor. Dad has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and he also has other ailments give or take. So both of them definitely need help in their daily activities.
Right now they live alone, which is great, they are aging in place.”
Elizabeth Smigiel, 88-years-old, “I have a care provider that helps me with everything. And she’s from the Fiji Islands. Well, we get along great and I like her. We have our little arguments every now and then but we laugh them off too. ‘We had our argument for the day,’ we say. And she’s still with me.”
Judy Zlatnik, Meals on Wheels Volunteer, Age 75, “Many of the people that need Meals on Wheels are unable to drive. Some of them are unable to get out of a chair. A few are bedridden. But for some reason they aren’t able to get out of the house, they aren’t able to go shopping. And if they’re offered transportation they’re still not able to provide the meals.”
In this story we go to Oakland where we spoke with seniors experiencing the benefits of regular Tai Chi practice. Originally developed for self-defense, Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that many now turn to for exercise. Research shows that Tai Chi reduces stress and benefits people with many age-related diseases.