ParkTalk Podcast

S24 Episode 03: Healthy Minds for Senior Adults

Geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Sachin Bhalerao explains the challenges of isolation for older adults and offers hope and practical advice for those recovering from mental illnesses that may have developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also discusses the importance of structure and social contact in maintaining a healthy mind in both good and bad times.

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Quotes from the episode:

“I had an older adult who came to me who was very active before the pandemic, and when the pandemic started, they suddenly morphed into a couch potato and just began watching Netflix continually. He was able to recognize that that was not helping him. He was starting to feel more lonely, more anxious. The first thing he did was to discontinue his subscription to Netflix and got back on his bike. That had a significant positive effect on his mood. This pandemic has highlighted that many of our seniors are in a fragile state but with a community effort, things can get better. The situation is not hopeless.” – Dr. Bhalerao

“I often tell my patients whether they are young or old, that one of the keys to happiness is structure. There's an old saying in medicine that structure equals functioning and functioning equals structure... Those patients that have more structure to their day are going to function better and feel better. And they're going to be less likely to be impacted by changes in the environment and they will have less fluctuation in their mood and less anxiety.” – Dr. Bhalerao

About Our Guest

Dr. Sachin Bhalerao joined the team of leading psychiatrists at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in January 2021. He is board certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry and serves as Associate Medical Director for Geriatric Psychiatry at Linden Oaks. Read his biography here.

Do you or does someone you know need treatment for a mental health concern?

Dr. Bhalerao will treat inpatients and outpatients, both on-site and via telemedicine. For more information on treatment, call the Linden Oaks Help Line 24 hours a day at 630-305-5027.

Naperville Park District Activities to Help Seniors Stay Connected and Active

Check our seasonal Program Guide for free and low-cost programs for adults of all ages and for senior adults. In it you will find virtual programs, free, drop-in programs, opportunities to learn new skills, join a walking club, volunteer, participate in a sports league and much more. The Park District is an excellent resource for connecting with others in the community, making new friends, and staying active physically and mentally.

This ParkTalk Blog post and this ParkTalk Podcast episode give examples of activities for seniors at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center.