For many older adults, declining physical and mental capabilities coupled with the social isolation and financial challenges that may accompany aging can be overwhelming. Too often, depression and anxiety go unrecognized and untreated in older adults – even by healthcare professionals.
Recognizing the growing need for psychiatric services for older adults, Summa Health System offers an inpatient unit at St. Thomas Hospital devoted to meeting the unique needs of older patients who may be experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or other conditions.
Summa’s Center for Senior Health took two important steps in 2010 to address the current (and future) needs of northeast Ohio’s older adults by:
- Adding an additional geropsychiatrist and geropsychiatric nurse practitioner to its staff. Patients can secure an appointment for a consultation without a long wait for an opening to occur.
- Changing the protocol for geropsychiatric referrals by eliminating the prerequisite of a geriatric assessment. Patients are referred directly to one of two Summa geropsychiatrists for a consultation. Patients are not required to undergo a geriatric assessment before being referred to a geropsychiatrist.