Do you know an older adult who used to enjoy life but seems now to have given up — manifesting symptoms of depression, lethargy, confusion? Know this about depressed older adults: they will not ask for help themselves. Things can change, but they don’t know it, wouldn’t believe it, and can’t even make a call — not now. But you can! And if you’re not aware there’s hope for change, let us show you the proof.
Glen Rose Medical Center’s SeniorCare program — the only one of its kind in our area — can tell you story after story (no names included, of course) of excellent results. Our patients are finding a sense of purpose again. Some who were barely functioning — possibly in a nursing home — have experienced such transformation that they are now living independently and enjoying new things, new friends, new possibilities. And our After Care program helps to assure ongoing success.
SeniorCare is a partial hospitalization, psychotherapeutic program. Its interdisciplinary team includes a psychiatrist, a primary care physician, a social worker,
a registered nurse, a recreation therapist, and a nursing assistant. Additional staff are utilized as needed and may include an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and a speech therapist.
Here’s how our program works:
- A family member or friend of the older adult becomes concerned (see warning signs at right) and calls GRMC’s SeniorCare at 893-9035. Qualifying financial arrangements are discussed.
- SeniorCare makes a home visit for a free, no-obligation pre-screening (with the patient’s permission) to determine if he or she might be able to participate in group therapy sessions.
- An appointment is made for the patient to see SeniorCare’s medical director — a psychiatrist — at Glen Rose Medical Center. The psychiatrist will evaluate whether the patient belongs in the program.
- That very day, if the patient meets criteria and wants to participate, he or she is admitted to the Senior
Care program which meets on the campus of GRMC. Within days further assessments are made.
- The entire treatment team — composed of a physician, nurse, psychiatrist, counselor and the patient — formulate a master treatment plan for how to reinvigorate the patient towards his or her highest level of functioning and independence. The plan may include comprehensive medical care, structured daily activities, and individual, group and family therapies. Regular patient progress meetings will be held for the duration of treatment.
- Depending on the severity of the patient’s problems, we will see him for one to 30 hours of group therapy per week. Sessions begin at 9:00 a.m., following our van transportation (provided within a 25 mile radius).
- Once each week, the participant will visit with SeniorCare’s psychiatrist for medication management.
- Within 2 to 4 weeks even severe symptoms begin to subside. At that point, the patient enters an intensive outpatient program during which she comes to Glen Rose Medical Center less than 20 hours per week.
- The ultimate goal is to discharge our revitalized friend to full outpatient status under the care of a
therapist or primary care physician. This usually occurs within 4 to 6 weeks of entering the program.
The bottom line is this: do not believe that it’s normal for an older adult to be depressed. It may be a natural result of facing the aging process, but it is not normal and can be treated. You may be the only one who might step in to help. Your only job is to make the call.