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S24 Episode 03: Healthy Minds for Senior Adults


Geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Sachin Bhalerao explains the challenges of isolation for older adults and offers hope and practical advice for those recovering from mental illnesses that may have developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also discusses the importance of structure and social contact in maintaining a healthy mind in both good and bad times.

For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series visit

Quotes from the episode:

“I had an older adult who came to me who was very active before the pandemic, and when the pandemic started, they suddenly morphed into a couch potato and just began watching Netflix continually. He was able to recognize that that was not helping him. He was starting to feel more lonely, more anxious. The first thing he did was to discontinue his subscription to Netflix and got back on his bike. That had a significant positive effect on his mood. This pandemic has highlighted that many of our seniors are in a fragile state but with a community effort, things can get better. The situation is not hopeless.” – Dr. Bhalerao

“I often tell my patients whether they are young or old, that one of the keys to happiness is structure. There’s an old saying in medicine that structure equals functioning and functioning equals structure... Those patients that have more structure to their day are going to function better and feel better. And they’re going to be less likely to be impacted by changes in the environment and they will have less fluctuation in their mood and less anxiety.” – Dr. Bhalerao

About Our Guest

Dr. Sachin Bhalerao joined the team of leading psychiatrists at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in January 2021. He is board certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry and serves as Associate Medical Director for Geriatric Psychiatry at Linden Oaks. Read his biography here.

Do you or does someone you know need treatment for a mental health concern?

Dr. Bhalerao will treat inpatients and outpatients, both on-site and via telemedicine. For more information on treatment, call the Linden Oaks Help Line 24 hours a day at 630-305-5027.

Naperville Park District Activities to Help Seniors Stay Connected and Active

Check our seasonal Program Guide for free and low-cost programs for adults of all ages and for senior adults. In it you will find virtual programs, free, drop-in programs, opportunities to learn new skills, join a walking club, volunteer, participate in a sports league and much more. The Park District is an excellent resource for connecting with others in the community, making new friends, and staying active physically and mentally.

This ParkTalk Blog post and this ParkTalk Podcast episode give examples of activities for seniors at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center.

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Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District