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Aging and Mental Health Training

One in four older adults experiences some mental health concern, including depression, anxiety disorders, and dementia. This number is expected to double to 15 million by 2030.

These mental health issues can jeopardize housing, cause serious issues for communities, and increase older adults’ risk for suicide. Mental health is increasingly a concern of housing and community service providers, especially with a rise in social isolation and community stress.

Training and Educational Resources for Staff and Older Adults

At JF&CS, we bring more than 20 years of experience and expertise in working with older adults in the field of mental health. We recognize the need to foster caring housing communities that are equipped and empowered to address mental health issues and support a population of diverse older adults. We work in senior housing and in community settings and are available to educate, train, and consult with staff and older adults on these topics.

Request a training on these topics:

For Staff

*In response to the COVID-19 crisis, JF&CS has updated its trainings on social isolation, suicide, and mental health to better address these concerns.

  • You Can Help Save a Life – Suicide Prevention 
    An overview of risk factors and warning signs for suicidal behavior in older adults. Participants learn what to do if warning signs are present and become familiar with resources available.
  • No Man Is an Island: The Impact of Social Isolation on the Physical and Mental Health of Older Adults
    This training workshop will explore the social constructs of social isolation and loneliness in our communities and cite studies that demonstrate how social isolation can negatively affect both the physical and mental health of an older adult. We will review tools that measure and assess levels of loneliness and learn to better understand why and how loneliness and isolation can put older adults’ health at risk and leave them more vulnerable to elder abuse. Most importantly, we will identify tools, techniques, and existing social programs that work to combat social isolation and build resiliency in our older adult communities.
  • Tips & Techniques for Understanding Older Adults Who May be Struggling with Mental Illness
    A comprehensive overview of the mental illnesses most common for older adults and strategies to better address problematic behaviors.
  • Death, Loss & Grief in Older Adult Communities
    Death and loss are inevitable parts of life and aging for both older adults and the staff that work with them. This workshop will explore the practical and emotional aspects of death and grief and how culture may influence the experience of death and bereavement. Through shared experience, workshop participants will examine the journey of death and dying with the objective of providing hope, support, and resources to older adults in their communities. 
  • Exploring the Experience of Aging
    An interactive discussion and presentation for staff who work with older adults. Participants gain a better understanding of their experience of aging and ageism.
  • Boundaries: Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships with the Older Adults We Serve
    This workshop will highlight the purpose and value of maintaining professional boundaries while acknowledging some of the inherent challenges in working with older adult populations. Includes an interactive discussion of scenarios in which participants will identify dilemmas, weigh the risks of crossing professional boundaries, and develop appropriate responses. 
  • Social Bullying: Assessing and Intervening with Older Adults
    Staff who work with older adults in congregate settings will learn about social bullying and how to effectively intervene when it is happening in their community. Participants will learn strategies to discourage bullying, support targets, and build stronger, more welcoming communities.

For Older Adults

*Due to restrictions on physical distancing and in-person programming, JF&CS is currently offering virtual workshops only to older adult communities. We have updated our programs to better respond to current needs.

  • Tips and Techniques for Understanding and Assisting Neighbors Who Are Struggling
    A workshop that provides participants with basic information about common stress responses and their impact on our health as well as how to better support a friend, neighbor, or even ourselves when we are struggling with the stress of life.
  • Creating Caring Communities: How to Address Social Aggression When It Happens
    A discussion about how to promote civility and tolerance in housing communities, even in the midst of acute stress and social unrest.
  • "What's In Your Plan?" Personal Health Care Planning Workshop Featuring Honoring Choices MA
    Come join us to make your own personal health care plan using the Honoring Choices MA Getting Started Tool Kit. It's as easy as 1-2-3. We'll review the 3 step process and free planning documents to learn how to:
    1. Choose a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy,
    2. Talk with family and write down your care choices in a Personal Directive (Living Will), 
    3. Talk with your doctors and care providers to put your plan into action.
    For more information go to: www.honoringchoicesmass.com
  • Keep on Keeping On
    A facilitated discussion on finding healthy ways to build resilience and respond to the stresses of everyday life.
  • Music, Memories, and More
    “If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.” - Johns Hopkins Medicine
    Not only is listening to music fun and relaxing, but it can also reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. This interactive workshop is a gym for the brain. Participants will leave with information on how to create a customized playlist and some fond memories of sharing music together.

JF&CS Aging and Mental Health fee-based services include staff consultation, curriculum development, and training. We are able to host a webinar via our virtual platform or yours or consult via conference call. Please contact us so we can discuss your needs and understand your circumstances.

Interested in learning more about any of these trainings?

Email Mary Curlew, our Community Education and Training Specialist, at mcurlew@jfcsboston.org.  

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781-647-JFCS (5327)
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1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451
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