Cary, NC — It was while at a seminar that Ann Marie Sochia was first asked about providing counseling for seniors.
At the time, Ms. Sochia’s business, Waves of Change, provided counseling, hypnosis, and stress relief for folks looking to “grow into their ideal self.” This was the first time that she had thought about how seniors are an overlooked portion of the population. Like many, their mental health needs can be extensive–and they are often neglected or ignored.
With the senior population being the fastest growing segment in Cary, it was the right time to launch a senior counseling business, Silver Linings. However, Sochia needed the help of mental health and senior specialists to move forward with her plans. She hired Deborah “Dee” Wiggins after asking associates in her network for someone that would be a good fit. Dee has a passion for mental health issues. Her experience dates back to the days of group homes, and she has since seen a lot of changes in the business.
After Dee was secured as Sochia’s outreach contact, the pair began to look for staff who shared a passion for senior citizens. Their mission was to serve clients in their homes or in assisted living facilities. They planned to work with individuals suffering from depression or those simply needing someone to talk to about their problems. From these ambitions, their motto, “Senior counseling for mindful living”, was created.
In only a few short months, the women have seen a great need for their services. Silver Linings serves patients in Preston Point, Searstone, Waldenwood, and Woodland Terrace. Their program is medicare based, and their rates are in line with what is allowable under those terms. Their staff is available 24 hours, however, most appointments are made between 9am-5pm on weekdays. The group can also work in conjunction with families and caregivers.
Dee explained that mental health is not something the senior population is comfortable talking about and that it doesn’t mean they suffer any less with mental illness issues–especially depression. Many are saddened by the death of a spouse, a move to a facility, their health, or their own physical disabilities.
As our population ages, there will undoubtedly be an increase in need for healthcare that understands and caters to the senior population. Silver Linings is a locally owned step in the right direction.
Story and photo by Lindsey Chester