THE HAVEN DIFFERENCE
Not all inpatient geriatric programs are the same. Many hospitals treat older adults on the same unit as younger psychiatric patients. We believe that the unique and often completely different treatment needs of the older adult requires a treatment environment separate from the younger patient population. Haven’s geriatric hospitals only treat older adults, and the services and design of the hospital take into account the unique physical, emotional and cognitive challenges of the older adult patient:
- Gero-Specific Hospital Design: Patient care areas are designed to take into consideration the changes associated with normal aging. Lighting, selection of wall colors, hand rails and flooring are some of many examples of considerations taken into account when developing living areas that are comfortable for our patients.
- Programming: Our social workers and activity therapy staff help patients understand the symptoms and triggers of both their psychiatric and medical conditions, then develop strategies for coping and managing the symptoms to optimally interact with others and participate in activities of daily living. Daily patient schedules include events such as exercise, nutrition, medication groups, stress management, loss and grief counseling. Patients who are experiencing decreases in cognitive levels of functioning or symptoms associated with dementia are engaged in activities designed to help them connect with familiar and positive memories to reduce anxiety and agitation.
- Medication Management: Our psychiatrists and internal medicine physicians work together in monitoring for medical or psychiatric symptoms that may be caused by age related reactions to medications and during the course of treatment adjust the medication regiment to be most effective for the patient.
- Family Involvement: Whether a loved one is dealing with depression or a dementia diagnosis, it is important that the family also receive support and education. Our treatment teams encourage visitation on a regular basis and our social work team provide educational programs for the family.