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 tested
clinical services that can provide a big shot in the arm to your
nursing 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. Cognitive
and interpersonal psychotherapies, for example, are effective
treatments for depression.
2. Psychological alternatives to
drug therapies are particularly valuable to elderly populations
receiving nursing home care who are suffering from
overmedication and side effects of various drugs and their
interactions. These alternatives can reduce the medication use
in your long term care facility thus reducing any complaints of
over-medication of residents.
3. Psychologists can significantly bolster the impact of the nursing home care and
treatment plan of patients suffering from chronic illnesses
through a variety of advanced interventions providing a powerful
treatment synergy that is invaluable.
4. People can be helped to control high blood pressure and manage chronic pain or
headaches with fewer medications, when psychotherapy, behavioral
techniques, and biofeedback are added to nursing home care.
5. Breast cancer patients who participate in group psychotherapy
survive longer and manage their symptoms
better than those who do not.
6. Pre-surgical psychological counseling leads to
fewer complications and a reduction in medication utilization.
7. Psychotherapy added to nursing home care enables some
diabetics who are at risk for erratic treatment compliance to
maintain their discipline of diet and insulin treatments.
8. Psychological interventions help cancer patients to manage the
unpleasant side effects of their chemotherapy so that their
lives are disrupted less seriously and their daily effectiveness
9. Individual and family psychological
interventions added to your nursing home care are effective for
enhancing resident quality of life. It does this by enabling
the resident to effectively manage the depression, anxiety, and
other adjustment issues resulting from the onset of chronic and
10. Psychotherapy and/or other behavioral
interventions enrich your nursing home care by helping your
residents to change lifestyle habits in order to reduce risks
for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Become
recognized as a forward-looking leader in long term care by
having your own specialized psychological treatment program. It
is well documented that psychologists assist residents in
developing coping strategies and healthy behaviors, which can
reduce the factors associated with the development of illness.
11. The psychologist has a unique expertise in the diagnosis
and treatment of conditions addressed in nursing
home care such as stress disorders, neurological impairments, brain disease and
psychosomatic illness. Psychologists have been in the forefront
of high quality research involving the mutual influences which
mind, body, emotion and disease have on each other.
12. Next-generation physicians consult psychologists to obtain an
expert assessment regarding any psychological disorders present,
advice on the implementation of behavioral programs, the
pinpointing of specific behavioral symptoms and the targeting of
resulting treatment goals. One reason is that 81% of adults
say that they would feel more comfortable seeing a physician who
consults 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 or
behavioral factors that may be affecting or interfering with the
treatment process in nursing home care.
14. These next-generation diagnostic services give added power to your
nursing home care because they can be used to assess among other
things, prognosis and the existence of functional impairments,
degree of intellectual, cognitive and/or psychological
impairment and the extent of any dementia or memory impairments.
They also specify treatment and documentation guidelines which
enable staff to reduce risk by use of more concrete factors to
list in charting and by enhancing the odds for resident recovery
and/or the slowing of the process of deterioration.
15. Sophisticated physicians are increasingly applying these results
to develop faster-acting and longer-lasting
rehabilitative services and treatment programs that stand head-over-heels above
your nursing home peers in long term care.
16. Psychologists emphasize the least restrictive, safest, drug-free, most
cost-efficient treatment alternatives available leading to them
being increasingly recruited to provide services to long term
care residents and being a factor in the numerous compliments
administrators start getting from their bosses.
17. Dynamic Team-building. They will empower your nursing home care many
times over because they are experts in facilitating cohesive
team-work to generate results. They excel at working with teams
of other health care professionals in nursing homes and other
comprehensive rehabilitation facilities.
Dr. Michael Shery is the founder of Long Term Care Specialists in Psychology, a firm
specializing 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 term
care professionals. Receive a copy of "How Strength-Embedded Counseling Reduces Depression in Long Term.