Silver Oaks CEO & CMO Discuss Senior Adult Mental Health Program on WJOL
Mental illness can affect people of all ages. Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital understands the need to provide treatment specific to those experiencing changes and challenges that come with aging.
Group of retired people smiling
Scott Hullinger, CEO and Dr. Jyoti Randhawa, CMO recently spoke with Barry Kolanowski, Executive Director Senior Services of Will County to discuss the senior adult mental health programs available at Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital.
The following are quotes from their appearance on ‘A Senior Moment‘, a bi-weekly radio program that airs on WJOL the first and third Mondays of the month from 9:05 AM – 9:30 AM. To hear the radio segment in full, please click here.
Barry: Does a person need a doctors referral to come to Silver Oaks?
Jyoti: Absolutely not, you can call us right away, we are happy to help you.
Scott: There’s no appointment necessary, anytime they need services, they can call us 24 hours a day, they can come directly to Silver Oaks 24 hours a day. We have licensed mental health counselors that can provide an assessment or recommendations on what they the next step of treatment may be for that person, and there’s absolutely no cost for this service. We are happy to help you.
Barry: What would you say are some of the most common issues that are being brought over there to Silver Oaks?
Jyoti: We treat a whole array of symptoms. Most commonly depression, anxiety—these are the biggest. When we get extreme forms, like suicide ideation, feeling helpless, feeling hopeless, it’s very important to recognize these symptoms because senior adults have a very high prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms. Senior males have one of the highest rates of completed suicides. So this is extremely vital for us to be aware of.
Barry: As we age, seniors go through different changes as they age. Can you talk a little about that?
Jyoti: We are always going through changes through the life span, called stages of development. Young, early adulthood, middle life, etc. When we get into the later stages of our years, there’s a lot of changes in terms of our professional identity, our personal identity, family identity, and health identity—that’s huge.
What happens with the senior adult population is now we are moving from a productive workforce environment and we are starting to wind down, we are going toward more of the retirement and other aspects of our life. That can cause some issues with adjustment, that’s very common and it’s very normal.
With the senior adult population, there’s a lack of understanding sometimes of what is normal and what is not. What is acceptable, what is not. So there can be a loss of sense of self in terms of not being able to do the things you were able to in the past, there can be a sense of difference because your social environment changes. People who used to be in your life as your friends and people in the community might no longer be there, and sometimes that can lead to change that we have a hard time adjusting to.
Barry: Their world is shrinking mobility wise, it’s shrinking with friends. I love how you highlighted the whole career aspect. I know a career is connected to who I am and if all the sudden I am not making a contribution, if I don’t feel like I have value, I don’t have a purpose, it’s really hard.
Jyoti: It is! I think that’s one of the biggest things we’ve seen on the unit—how do I redefine myself now? I used to be this corporate person, now I’m staying at home, what do I do with my time?
To hear more from Barry, Scott, and Jyoti, please click here.