HCRS, in collaboration with the Council on Aging of Southeastern Vermont, operates an Elder Care Program, one of a number of elder care programs around the State, which provides in-home and community-based mental health services to people 60 years of age or older.
The goal of the Elder Care Program is to maintain and enhance elders’ independent functioning in the residential setting of their choosing. Many of the clients served by the Elder Care Program experience depression due to losses such as the loss of a spouse or loss of independence due to illness or disability. Others may have a history of depression or complex mental health needs.
Vermont’s Elder Care Programs are celebrating their 10 year anniversary in 2010. In January, the hard work and dedication of Elder Care Programs across the State was recognized by Maria Mireault, DAIL Program Director, and Dr. Susan Wehry, consulting geriatric-psychiatrist. A retreat was held to honor clinicians and outreach workers with recognitions from their respective Councils on Aging for their teamwork and commitment to serving elders with mental illness in their communities.
In a letter which was read at the celebration, Paula Richotte, Case Management Program Director at the Council on Aging, stated, “Our partnership with HCRS and having eldercare staff co-located at times with us is still a strong bond for success and bridging the communication gaps between agencies. … I believe the consistent appointments with Eldercare [staff give clients] stability and strength to keep going in spite of increasing pain and medical challenges.”
Since its inception, the HCRS Elder Care Program remains focused on improving the well being of older adults through providing outreach mental health services.