After working hard for decades, many seniors look forward to their “golden years” in retirement; unwinding, traveling, volunteering, and seeing more of the people they love. However sometimes the “golden years” become tarnished with the realities of life and loss. The aging body moves slower, memory may not be razor-sharp, some independence is gone, and close friends and family move away or even pass away.
These changes can lead to isolation, less enjoyment of life, and more daily stress. In addition, many individuals think feeling down is a normal part of aging, so they just accept it. However depression is NOT something people have to live with, because help is available!
At Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, we have programs and services especially designed for individuals who need assistance in coping with the changes that life brings.
One example is the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic (OMHC) at Levindale. “We work with older adults, usually age 60 and over. Our compassionate staff offers individualized treatment plans to determine which interventions and strategies will help each person, whether the symptoms are new or ongoing,” says Hannah Kilburg, manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services at Levindale.
The OMHC provides techniques to manage the symptoms of behavioral health illnesses and stressful situations, to recognize and handle difficult emotions, and to avoid setbacks.
If you or someone you care about has any of the following behaviors, he or she may benefit from some professional guidance:
- Changes in personality
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Decline in memory
- Isolation from family or friends
- Excessive feelings of guilt, helplessness or hopelessness
- Frequent or uncontrollable crying
- Sleep disturbances
- Change in appetite
- Functional decline and loss of interest in personal hygiene
- Unexplained physical symptoms
- Increased irritability and anxiety
Among the treatment options offered at the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic at Levindale are:
- Medication management
- Crisis intervention
- Patient, family and caregiver education
Levindale also has a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for individuals who were hospitalized for behavioral health issues and need help transitioning back into the community, or whose symptoms are worsening and wish to avoid inpatient hospitalization.
Therapeutic treatment in this program focuses on methods to manage behavioral health issues and to appreciate every day as it comes. The team also uses a number of different methods to treat participants, including:
- Group psychotherapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Group
- Mental Health Management Group
- Expressive Therapy Group
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Medication management
- Discharge planning
Remember, behavioral health challenges respond to treatment and should garner the same respect and compassion that cardiac, diabetes and other ailments have. The only difference is that symptoms affect the brain, instead of the heart, pancreas or other parts of the body.
For more information about the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic at Levindale or other services and programs that Levindale offers, please visit our website at www.lifebridgehealth/levindale.