Hospital opens Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit
Sunday, 06 January 2013 by Keith Bahlmann
Cedar Crest Hospital announced that it has opened an inpatient geriatric behavioral health program called Generations at its hospital in Belton.
"We want to further our commitment to expand services to the community and now we are focusing that expansion on the needs of senior citizens" said Ingrid Whipple, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital.
Cedar Crest, which in the past served only children and adolescents, has steadily been expanding their scope of services over the last several years.
"In October of 2011 we added adult crisis stabilization services. Most recently we added adult substance abuse treatment. And now we are pleased to add specialized geriatric behavioral health services" Ms. Whipple elaborated. The new Generatons Program is designed to deliver appropriate psychiatric care to seniors in a warm, supportive atmosphere.
The new 20- bed unit will complement the existing adult and child and adolescent inpatient behavioral health services and will provide treatment specific to the needs of people aged 55 and older.
"Older adults often have complex medical and psychiatric needs, as well as life changes that can present challenging treatment issues. These treatment challenges require special care" said Cedar Crest's Medical Director, Edmund Cavazos, MD.
The Generations Program team of psychiatrists, nurses, trained counselors and social workers provide a thorough mental and physical evaluation to determine the cause or causes of the psychiatric problem and to assess the level of care needed.
Inpatient treatment includes individual and group therapy, as well as medication management to address individual's emotional and physical needs. The team also works with patients and their families to develop appropriate aftercare plans.
To commerorate the opening of the new service Cedar Crest is providing an in-service event for healthcare professionals on January 16, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on The Treatment of Behavioral Health Issues in Geriatric Patients presented by Dr. Zyama Goldman, MD, Psychiatrist and Vice Chairman of the Board & Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health Centers of America (call or email the media contact listed above for more information on the in-service).
The American Psychological Association reports that as many as 20 percent of older adults in the community and up to 37 percent in primary care settings suffer from depression. And approximately 11 percent of older adults have anxiety disorders. They also report that because of other typical late life problems, symptoms of depression and anxiety in senior citizens are often overlooked and untreated. Cedar Crest Hospital is pleased to address this need and can be reached for more information at the Assessment & Referral Office: (254)939-2100 (local) or (866)543-7779 (toll free).