Nearly 1 in 5 Americans aged 65 or older experience symptoms of depression. Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors), is working to combat depression in Boston’s seniors.

Healthy IDEAS is an evidence-based program for seniors in the community struggling with depression. Through this program, an Ethos staff member or graduate student intern visits with the elder over a 3 to 6 month period to set meaningful goals to raise their quality of life. All of the goals are customized to meet the interests of each client!

Yvonne was referred to Healthy IDEAS to ease her mild depression and was paired up with Elissa, a program intern who met with her to set achievable goals according to her interests. While getting to know each other, Elissa learned that Yvonne used to love to garden outside, but now is unable due to difficulty with bending down and digging dirt. Elissa helped Yvonne plant a small garden in her own home!

The process of creating an indoor garden encountered many obstacles, such as finding the adequate amount of water and sunlight, but each of these presented a new goal to work towards for the following week. “I love having a garden indoors and I look forward to my weekly visits with Elissa!” Yvonne has said of her experience with Healthy IDEAS.

For more information on the Healthy IDEAS Program, please contact Claribette Del Rosario, Healthy IDEAS Program Coordinator, at or 617-522-6700 x344.