Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't let the Golden Years slip away

The Golden Years are supposed to be a time of relaxation after a lifetime of hard work. Unfortunately, for many of our elders, those years can also be a time of loss - whether it’s friends, family, mobility or independence that diminish.

However, with a helping hand from the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital’s Day Treatment Program or its Outpatient Services Program (OPS), seniors can relearn how to enjoy living life to the fullest.

These programs offer treatments specifically designed for older adults experiencing emotional difficulties who don’t require inpatient treatment. By spending time in a structured safe, stimulating, nurturing environment, participants can again become a vital part of the community.

Symptoms individuals may need help to overcome include:
  • Change in personality
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Decline in memory
  • Self-imposed isolation from family and friends
  • Excessive feelings of guilt, helplessness or hopelessness
  • Frequent uncontrollable crying
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest in person hygiene
  • Loss of physical function
  • Increased irritability and anxiety
  • Relapse
All participants enrolled in the Day Program and OPS receive an individualized care plan that reflects their own challenges and goals. Elements can include:
  • Group Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Group
  • Mental Health Management Group
  • Expressive Therapy Group
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Medication Management
  • Discharge Planning
Levindale’s team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed social workers, certified psychiatric nurses and expressive art therapists.

Levindale’s Day Treatment Program is open to people who were recently discharged from a hospital and need treatment five days a week. Our Outpatient Services program follows up with two or three days a week of treatment. Referrals are welcome from doctors, residential centers, nursing homes, family members and other involved people. Transportation is available for most participants.

Levindale’s programs are often partially covered Medicare and Medicaid and many health insurance companies. The staff at Levindale also offers free depression screenings and follow up monitoring in the community through Project LIGHT. For more information, call 410-601-2358.

What are some difficulties you have faced in caring for an elder parent or grandparent who is experiencing emotional difficulties but doesn't require inpatient treatment?

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