Geriatric Behavioral Health – Help is Readily Available

Did you know that a Senior Citizen’s mental, or behavioral, health has positive or negative effects on their physical health? Whether its pain issues, cardiovascular health or some other medical conditions, maintaining good behavioral health can significantly improve recovery time from illness and continued well-being. Just as specific treatments are given for physical injury, specific mental health programs are designed for seniors; it’s important to get the appropriate type of treatment for geriatric behavioral health.

Sometimes a senior’s behavioral health issues may be addressed on an outpatient basis based on what the doctor orders. Outpatient programs may be primarily based on group therapy. During group therapy, licensed health professionals lead the group by setting appropriate topics for group discussion and encourage members of the group to participate. Group therapy is effective because a participant interacts with others in a structured setting that promotes a better understanding of geriatric behavioral health issues. Seniors share their thoughts and experiences, learning from each other with the guidance of the group leader. Social interaction helps the senior to talk and socialize with other seniors who may have similar experiences. In addition to group therapy, the senior may also receive individual, family or marital therapy if ordered by the doctor. Sometimes these Outpatient Programs can meet a senior’s behavioral health needs without requiring more intensive care such as hospitalization.

If a senior citizen’s behavioral health needs cannot be met on an outpatient basis, more intensive services such as acute geriatric behavioral health treatment in a hospital are available. Each patient has a goal oriented plan detailing how the hospital, patient and family will work together to reach treatment goals, resulting in discharge from the hospital. A senior may need this type of treatment due to thoughts of self-harm, not wanting to live, depression, anxiety, or medication management issues. One of the greatest benefits of acute in-patient care is the 24 hour controlled environment while behavioral health issues are addressed.

How does someone go about requesting behavioral health care? The first step is a phone call to a geriatric behavioral health provider, and an assessment by a healthcare professional. Strict laws regarding rights to privacy protect all conversations and treatment by behavioral health professionals and health care facilities. Your confidentiality is protected by law, so if you feel that you or a loved one may benefit from these services call a geriatric behavioral health provider today.