Program addresses emotional needs of seniors
Particular stresses come with aging. Losing loved ones, changing mental and physical abilities, and unwanted lifestyle changes can lead to sadness and withdrawal. In fact, one out of four older adults suffers from serious aging-related emotional difficulties.
The following are indicators of illness in the elderly:
Sleep or eating disturbance
Excessive and uncontrolled anger
Disregard for personal appearance
Sad or blank looks
Thoughts of suicide
Forgetfulness or confusion
Severe agitation or mood swings
If you have a loved one who exhibits any of the signs and symptoms of emotional illness, know that you are not alone; the Geriatric Behavioral Health Program at Methodist Hospitals is here to help. Located at Methodist’s Northlake Campus in Gary, the program specializes in treating the unique needs of the 55 and older population.
Fortunately, most depression and other emotional illnesses in older people are treatable if addressed early. In its warm, supportive environment, Methodist’s Behavioral Health Team conducts a thorough evaluation to help determine the sources of behavioral and mental changes, including checking for any underlying medical conditions. They then work with the patient, family and other health professionals to develop an individualized treatment course.
Staffed with a psychiatrist, social worker, activity therapist, and specially trained counselors and nurses, the Geriatric Behavioral Health Program is designed to meet the emotional, mental, physical, and medical needs of our patients. They can also provide physical therapy.
Treatment may include one-on-one meetings with psychiatrists, as well as group therapy. Throughout their day, patients take part in structured activities.
Working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, the Behavioral Health Team works to get behaviors such as wandering and combativeness under control. Families benefit from the education we provide, and encouragement, that may include participation in weekly support groups.
Once a patient’s stay with us is concluded, the treatment team works with patients and their families to develop individualized aftercare plans. Some patients may require placement in a more supportive environment such as assisted living, personal home care, or a long-term care facility.
Admissions to the Geriatric Behavioral Health Program are accepted 24 hours a day, based on the psychiatrist’s decision. Families are invited to a free, confidential initial consultation. For information, call (219) 886-4755.
Provided by Methodist Hospitals