The Area Agency on Aging coordinates and administers the ElderVention® program, which is designed to help older adults achieve and maintain a healthy emotional life. Unfortunately for many older adults, grief, loneliness, substance abuse and depression are among the issues they must face. These factors, individually or together, can lead to suicide. In Arizona, the suicide rate among seniors surpasses the national average.

ElderVention® provides prevention education for older adults who are at risk for depression and suicide. The program also provides training and education for professionals working with at-risk seniors. *See Information about a free mental health screening and ElderVention Community Events Calendar at the bottom of this page*

Many factors can contribute to the decline of an older adult's mental well-being. Situations that can put older adults at risk include:

  • Loss of one's social support system from the death of a spouse, family member, or close friend
  • Retirement, relocation, loss of financial security, or the sense of not contributing to society
  • The trauma of divorce, late life domestic violence, or elder abuse
  • Overuse of alcohol and prescription medications
  • The onset of chronic medical condition that can lead to chronic pain or isolation
  • Loss or perceived loss of function or capabilities

Fortunately, with proper intervention and support, older adults can continue living with a good quality of life and have a sense of wellness, despite life's challenging situations.

ElderVention® operates throughout Maricopa County and provides prevention services for older adults, including:

  • Transition workshops to help older adults improve their well-being by connecting with others for support. Topics include depression and suicide, healthy aging, grief and loss, stress and anxiety. Sessions take place at senior centers and other locations where older adults congregate.
  • Home-based prevention education for older adults who are isolated and at risk.
  • Community and professional education for people who work or come in regular contact with older adults.
  • Clinical Treatment Services: the ElderVention® Program is now licensed to provide Clinical Treatment Mental Health Services, please call for more information.

The ElderVention® program offers older adults at risk of depression,substance abuse and suicide a variety of opportunities to reduce their risk factors and increase their protective factors,including:

  • Increased awareness of mental health issues.
  • Changing attitudes and behaviors that may lead to mental health problems
  • Developing more self-reliance and independence
  • Developing sills in decision making, coping with stress, problem solving, conflict resolution, resilience, and self esteem
  • Reestablishing and maintaining positive interpersonal relationships

The ElderVention® program helps seniors realize their personal worth, that they are loved and appreciated, and that there are viable options to suicide.

Another function of the ElderVention® program is to coordinate the work of the Maricopa Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition (MEBHAC). The MEBHAC includes:  older adults from the community as well as aging network providers, behavioral health and substance abuse providers, senior housing providers, college and university educators and concerned community members who all work together to increase the community's capacity to address older adult behavioral health and substance abuse issues.  The MEBHAC is always looking for new members. Meetings are held on the 4th Friday of the month at 9:00 a.m. at the Area Agency on Aging, Region One. The MEBHAC's work is made possible by a grant from Magellan Health Services through an agreement with the Arizona Department of Behavioral Health Services.

EDV Master Calendar Aug 2010.pdf13.72 KB