The San Antonio Observer: “The Play Must Go On”

As loved ones age, they may experience status loss, financial difficulties, loneliness and isolation.  Difficulties in adaptation to social life, increases chronic diseases, and accelerates a decline in physical abilities.  The objective of San Antonio’s senior centers is to provide elderly people with a healthy environment and to help meet their social and psychological needs.

These centers are strategically located throughout the city.  According to a study that investigated risk factors for depression, depression rates were higher among women, divorcees, people living alone, and among those having no social outlets (Nahcıvan & Demirezen, 2005).

Diagnosis and treatment of geriatric depression is crucial because along with other physical and cognitive declines, untreated depression can severely decrease the quality of life.  In order to increase the quality of life among elderly persons, cognitive therapy is essential. However, since depression symptoms can vary according to age-groups, different diagnostic and treatment procedures may be relevant and useful with older persons. For instance, group therapy was followed by improved depression and social functioning in outpatient scenarios.  Along with the quality of life, psychosocial well-being of the elderly is crucial.  Life review therapy, reminiscence therapy, or memoir sharing are some group intervention models that are used to empower and improve the psychosocial well-being of the elderly (Peck, 2001; Tufan, 2007)

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