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A hospital stay can be stressful for anyone, but for older adults experiencing mental or behavioral health issues, it can be a particularly challenging experience. That’s why the 10-bed Behavioral Health Senior Program at Baylor Medical Center at Garland is such an important advancement for this special group of patients.
“Seniors facing psychiatric health problems require interactions between physicians of various disciplines for effective care,” says R.K. Kambhampati, MD, MPH, an adult and geriatric psychiatrist on the medical staff at Baylor Garland. “And this program facilitates that.”
With a dual focus on providing senior-specific psychiatric and medical care, the unit is truly unique, offering “multidisciplinary, inpatient care to individuals 65 or older who require evaluation and treatment of psychiatric issues,” says Suja Mathew, LPC, program director.
Mathew stresses that the unit is reserved for those individuals who are experiencing acute mental health crises or represent a danger to themselves or others.
Once admitted, a patient’s acute needs are stabilized and measures are taken to protect their security, safety and welfare.
“Within the first 24 hours of admission each patient receives a complete physical, intake evaluation and assessment by a psychiatrist,” Dr. Kambhampati says. “Patients may be admitted on a voluntary or involuntary basis, and typically stay between 10 and 14 days.”
With a team trained specifically in geriatric care, you can be confident that you or your loved one will receive professional, personalized treatment. “It’s a haven for seniors experiencing a mental-health crisis,” Mathew says.
The winter season of life can present special emotional challenges.
“The loss of friends and loved ones, physical challenges and concerns and loneliness often take their toll, and some older adults may need professional help to get through an especially difficult time,” says R.K. Kambhampati, MD, MPH, an adult and geriatric psychiatrist on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Garland.
Here, Dr. Kambhampati shares some tell-tale signs that professional help may be needed:
If you or a loved one are age 65 or older and facing a mental health crisis, the Behavioral Health Senior Program at Baylor Medical Center at Garland can help. Call 1.800.4BAYLOR to learn more.
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