The Haven Difference

Older Adults Only

Geriatric inpatient psychiatric hospital programs can differ from one another in various ways.  While many programs tend to treat older adults with younger patient populations, at Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia, we believe older adults need specialized, unique treatment in an environment that involves individuals with similar experiences and needs. We seek to provide the type of care that fosters a spirit of community and an atmosphere of trust and security.

Environmental Differences

Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia takes into consideration the importance of surroundings for older individuals and the normal aging process.  Not only do we want to offer a safe setting with secure handrails but also we seek to eliminate unnecessary added noise that can increase agitation.  Lighting and color choices also help to equip spaces with soothing elements.  Our unit layout provides a number of options for our patients to be engaged in activities yet not in an overly stimulating environment.

Programming

Since each patient’s needs are unique, we provide programming to meet the needs of the individual patient.  Psychiatric conditions and physical symptoms resulting from medical conditions often create particular problems for this population and Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia provides expert care.

We provide two levels of programming in that one level is designed for older adults who are dealing with depression, anxiety and symptoms that are shown to benefit from didactical therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Our social workers and activity therapy staff work to help the patient learn or improve their coping skills, understand the symptoms and triggers for their illness as well as learn the value of interacting with others. Programming includes topics such as exercise, nutrition, medication groups, stress management, loss and grief counseling.

The second level of programming is specifically designed for those patients who are experiencing decreases in cognitive levels of functioning and through this the therapy staff works to stimulate patients’ memories and reduce their anxieties. Those who are experiencing symptoms associated with dementia need to be able to connect with what is familiar to them. Reminiscence and Sensory Stimulation therapies have been shown to help to improve memory as well as to reduce anxieties. The Reminiscence therapy groups are designed to get the patient to interact with the staff and their peers. Long term memories are the last to go, so watching age appropriate movies, talking about life experiences such as a first car, first date, what was happening in a particular period, will engage most of the patients in discussion.

With Sensory stimulation, the therapists are helping the patient to unlock memories that may be related to certain smells, textures and/or sounds. Listening to age appropriate music for an exercise group or just having music playing in a designated room can often help to calm an agitated patient. Videos of aquariums, snow, rain, etc., have also been documented as having significant positive outcomes in reducing patient agitation and anxiety.

Medication Management

The psychiatrists at Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia, along with our internal medicine physicians, understand that the older adult may respond differently to medications than those who are younger. Often medications prescribed for medical conditions can exacerbate and/or result in behavioral symptoms. The team at Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia works closely together to refine the patient’s medication regimen to provide the best coverage from both a psychiatric and medical perspective.

Family Involvement

The staff at Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia works as a close-knit group, so we also recognize the importance of family involvement to therapy. Whether a loved one is dealing with depression or a dementing diagnosis, it is important that the family also receive support and education. Our programs encourage visitation on a regular basis.

Individualized Care

Each patient has individual needs and Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia’s treatment team is comprised of physicians, social workers, nurses and activity therapists work with the patient and family to identify the best plan of care for the patient.

Aging brings on many challenges. Decreased physical and mental capabilities, the loss of loved ones and reduced independence can mean significant changes in the lives of seniors. A sudden or prolonged change in behavior or mood may indicate the presence of mental illness. Sometimes specialized care is needed, and that’s where Haven Behavioral Hospital of Philadelphia can help.

Summary
The Haven Difference
Article Name
The Haven Difference
Description
At Haven, we believe older adults have more complex treatment needs. The Haven difference is our specialized geriatric services.
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