While many in Talbot County are aware of a number of our seniors facing social isolation, depression, and malnutrition, the challenge for the County’s senior services is to reach out to this fragile population with an effective program that works. That was the primary reason that the highly-regarded PEARLS innovative initiative, first started at the University of Washington in the late 1990s, was adopted recently in Talbot County by Stacy Ewing, the Health Department’s Case Management & Program Coordinator. And since its inception, over forty elders and their families have used this unique service.
PEARLS, which stands for Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives, is a free, short-term, home-based program to teach seniors tools to tackle the overwhelming issues in their lives effectively and to, in turn, improve their quality of life. By making home visits, County staff can work individually with each client to create small steps to address their isolation and, when needed, work with the program’s clinical psychologist to help determine medications that combat the depression and anxiety that typically comes with that form of loneliness.
The Spy talked to Stacy via Zoom last week to hear more about the program.
This video is approximately there minutes in length. For more information about PEARLS in Talbot County, please go here.