New: Support groups to help older adults deal with physical illness


It is a frequent occurrence among older adults - people who used to be independent, active and healthy find themselves coping with changes in their physical condition. It could be a heart attack, a fall that resulted in orthopedic surgery, receiving bad news of a chronic disease that changes your lifestyle and more.


"These are people who have led normative, active lives and suddenly find themselves needing support, struggling with limited mobility, more dependent on their spouses or relatives," said Limor Zevulun, a psychotherapist in the Psychogeriatric  Service of the Adult Mental Health Clinic at Hillel Yaffe.


"The change, which can sometimes be quite radical, leads to an emotional response that can have a serious impact on how people cope with their physical condition. At our clinic, we frequently meet people who under the circumstances described develop responses of depression, anxiety and restlessness. These responses reduce their motivation for rehabilitation, make cooperation in the rehabilitation process difficult, and have a significant impact on their relationships with their families. In this respect, the support groups we offer are unique, allowing these people, for the first time, to receive effective tools to cope with the change."


Dr. Lydia Lerner, Director of Mental Health Services at Hillel Yaffe, said, "The concept of group work or therapy to help in coping, as previously mentioned, has been proven to be highly effective and to promote mental and physical health in older adults. This group experiences absolutely normative emotional responses to the physiological and functional changes that characterize this phase of life. As a result, coping with acute physical or chronic problems intensifies the emotional vulnerability that already exists and leads to a closed cycle of responses, as already described."


The new service offered by the Psychogeriatric Service is unique in that it allows patients to recognize and make peace with the changes that have happened, while increasing their motivation for rehabilitation and giving them the hope that is so important to adapting to a new lifestyle.


The service itself is provided free of charge as part of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center's Adult Mental Health Clinic, but requires advance registration for a group. For additional information please call 04-6335931 or e-mail:


Click here for more information about the groups >>

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