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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, May 09, 2011

Physicians focus on the importance of mental health for the elderly

The Merry Widows, as they call themselves, were blinged out, Florida-style, to celebrate Elayne Weisburd’s 79th birthday at a sprawling community for seniors. Mylar balloons levitated above their table, and sparklers twinkled from a cake.

The guest of honor and her two friends were beaming when Dr. Marc E. Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist and the director of mental health, arrived with a hug for everyone long after what would be normal office hours.

The Merry Widows moved to the community when their husbands developed Alzheimer’s disease and looked to Dr. Agronin to prepare them for what lay ahead. But while treating their husbands’ disease, he became their psychiatrist, too. He urged the women to attend therapy groups, made suggestions about medication for anxiety and encouraged new bonds of friendship.

Dr. Agronin calls them his graduates — a trio of success stories 3,700 patients he is responsible for, in what, by all accounts, is the largest geriatric in the nation, at the Miami Jewish Health Systems.

The doctor is a rare breed even in Florida, which has the highest proportion of people older than 65. There are only 17 board-certified geriatric psychiatrists in the state, and a mere six here in southeast Florida, where snowbirds from New York often come to perch. In March, acknowledging the crisis in care, the federal Institute of Medicine began a study of the shortage of geriatric mental health workers nationwide.

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Low Vision Therapy Services

Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)

Well Spouse Association

U.S. Administration on Aging


Nursing Home Compare

Senior Safety Online

Mature Market Institute

Connections for Women

50Plus Realtor

Alzheimer's Speaks

Official VA Website