Initially developed by Baylor College of Medicine, Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) is an evidence-based program that designed as a practical intervention to detect depression and reduce the severity of depressive symptoms in at-risk older adults.
Healthy IDEAS improves quality of life by:
- Screening for symptoms of depression and assessing their severity
- Educating older adults and caregivers about depression
- Linking older adults to primary care and mental health providers
- Empowering older adults to manage their depression by encouraging involvement in meaningful activities
How does the program work?
- Specially trained Ethos staff screen and assess clients on an individual basis
- Staff will meet with clients in their home, or on the phone, over a 3-6 month period
- Staff and clients discuss the areas of life that can be improved and develop a plan of action
- Ethos partners with health/ mental health care providers, community organizations, and aging services to provide referrals for clients
- Clients are empowered to enhance their lives by engaging in meaningful, positive activities
What are the program benefits?
According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, within six months of being involved in the program, 93% of Healthy IDEAS participants knew how to get help for depression, 89% reported that increasing activity helped them feel better and 45% reported they had reduced pain.
For Older Adults:
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Decreased physical pain
- Better ability to recognize and self-treat symptoms
- Improved well-being through achievement of personal goals