Elder Care Information

What Most Long Term Care Professionals Don't Know


Medicare recognizes this need and, therefore reimburses your residents to receive advanced behavioral health services? making them free to your facility!

Psychologists provide a wide variety of valuable and testedclinical services that can provide a big shot in the arm to yournursing home care. For example:

1. Psychotherapy is a treatment approach, which in many cases is equally, if not more, effective than drug therapies in nursing home care. Cognitiveand interpersonal psychotherapies, for example, are effectivetreatments for depression.

2. Psychological alternatives todrug therapies are particularly valuable to elderly populationsreceiving nursing home care who are suffering fromovermedication and side effects of various drugs and theirinteractions. These alternatives can reduce the medication usein your long term care facility thus reducing any complaints ofover-medication of residents.

3. Psychologists can significantly bolster the impact of the nursing home care andtreatment plan of patients suffering from chronic illnessesthrough a variety of advanced interventions providing a powerfultreatment synergy that is invaluable.

4. People can be helped to control high blood pressure and manage chronic pain orheadaches with fewer medications, when psychotherapy, behavioraltechniques, and biofeedback are added to nursing home care.

5. Breast cancer patients who participate in group psychotherapysurvive longer and manage their symptoms better than those who do not.

6. Pre-surgical psychological counseling leads tofewer complications and a reduction in medication utilization.

7. Psychotherapy added to nursing home care enables somediabetics who are at risk for erratic treatment compliance tomaintain their discipline of diet and insulin treatments.

8. Psychological interventions help cancer patients to manage theunpleasant side effects of their chemotherapy so that theirlives are disrupted less seriously and their daily effectivenessis maintained.

9. Individual and family psychologicalinterventions added to your nursing home care are effective forenhancing resident quality of life. It does this by enablingthe resident to effectively manage the depression, anxiety, andother adjustment issues resulting from the onset of chronic anddisabling illness.

10. Psychotherapy and/or other behavioralinterventions enrich your nursing home care by helping yourresidents to change lifestyle habits in order to reduce risksfor cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Becomerecognized as a forward-looking leader in long term care byhaving your own specialized psychological treatment program. Itis well documented that psychologists assist residents indeveloping coping strategies and healthy behaviors, which canreduce the factors associated with the development of illness.

11. The psychologist has a unique expertise in the diagnosisand treatment of conditions addressed in nursing home care such as stress disorders, neurological impairments, brain disease andpsychosomatic illness. Psychologists have been in the forefrontof high quality research involving the mutual influences whichmind, body, emotion and disease have on each other.

12. Next-generation physicians consult psychologists to obtain anexpert assessment regarding any psychological disorders present,advice on the implementation of behavioral programs, thepinpointing of specific behavioral symptoms and the targeting ofresulting treatment goals. One reason is that 81% of adultssay that they would feel more comfortable seeing a physician whoconsults with a psychologist.

13. Diagnostic tests performed by psychologists are state-of-the-art tools. Increasingly, physicians are turning to them to pinpoint any emotional orbehavioral factors that may be affecting or interfering with thetreatment process in nursing home care.

14. These next-generation diagnostic services give added power to yournursing home care because they can be used to assess among otherthings, prognosis and the existence of functional impairments,degree of intellectual, cognitive and/or psychologicalimpairment and the extent of any dementia or memory impairments.

They also specify treatment and documentation guidelines whichenable staff to reduce risk by use of more concrete factors tolist in charting and by enhancing the odds for resident recoveryand/or the slowing of the process of deterioration.

15. Sophisticated physicians are increasingly applying these resultsto develop faster-acting and longer-lasting rehabilitative services and treatment programs that stand head-over-heels aboveyour nursing home peers in long term care.

16. Psychologists emphasize the least restrictive, safest, drug-free, mostcost-efficient treatment alternatives available leading to thembeing increasingly recruited to provide services to long termcare residents and being a factor in the numerous complimentsadministrators start getting from their bosses.

17. Dynamic Team-building. They will empower your nursing home care manytimes over because they are experts in facilitating cohesiveteam-work to generate results. They excel at working with teamsof other health care professionals in nursing homes and othercomprehensive rehabilitation facilities.

Dr. Michael Shery is the founder of Long Term Care Specialists in Psychology, a firmspecializing in consulting to the long term care industry regarding mental health programming. Its website, http://www.NursingHomes.MD, provides state-of-the-art mental health treatment, facility staffing and career information to long termcare professionals. Receive a copy of "How Strength-Embedded Counseling Reduces Depression in Long Term.


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