Senior citizens suffer from an increasing number of mental health issues, often hiding the problem from friends and family. The state of Oregon is responding to this issue with some terrific news in mental health care. The Senior Mental Health Initiative is providing seniors in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties with increased mental health services and access to these services.
The program was approved in 2013, and is providing approximately 25 mental health specialists around the Oregon counties to specifically serve senior citizens. Curtis Miller and Tim Malone will run the program across the span of these counties.
The aims of the program mirror those of the coordinated care organization; those working on the Senior Mental Health Initiative are interested in coordinating all care provided to senior citizens. This means coordinating mental health with doctors, caregivers, organizations such as Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, and social workers. The belief is that all these organizations should be working together to help senior citizens best address mental issues, responding before matters become dangerous.
As mentioned before, mental health can decrease in senior citizens, because they often find themselves isolated in later stages of life. This is why the program strives to reach out to these seniors in their homes and help them get the mental health help necessary. Most seniors will not do it on their own and need someone to do it for them.
This is also why the coordination efforts are essential. Often, those who offer services not related to mental health notice first that the need for help exists. Research is quickly proving that early intervention is key; if someone from a different agency notices an issue, it can be communicated and addressed quickly through coordination of care.
Read more about Oregon’s efforts in senior care here, and contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency with further questions. At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.
Albany Democrat Herald, 600 Lyon St. S.W. Albany, OR
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