Senior Behavioral Health
DeKalb Regional Medical Center has a very clear goal: to help people live healthier lives. That means we treat the whole person, and deal with issues of behavioral health with the same level of attention as physical health. Psychiatrists look closely at what’s going on in the person’s life to determine their mental state and come up with treatments that relieve emotional stress and pain. We all have bad days, but when those bad days begin to outnumber the good, behavioral health professionals at DeKalb Regional Medical Center are here to support you, and help you return to a healthier state of mind.
Everyone hopes that as family members age they will enjoy “the golden years.” But as we grow older, the losses of loved ones along with the stresses from diminishing physical and mental abilities are a common experience. It’s not unusual for lifestyle changes and increased physical challenges to lead to sadness and withdrawal. Persistent personality changes or unusual behaviors, however, may mean that your loved one is suffering from an emotional illness.
Signs and symptoms
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Dangerous behavior (to self or others)
- Crying spells
- Confusion or memory loss (severe enough to endanger self or others)
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Self-inflicted wounds
- Recent disregard for personal appearance
- Hallucinations, delusions, panic attacks, anxiety, agitation and/or depression severe enough to cause someone to be frantic, unresponsive and unable to perform routine activities
- Social isolation
- Suicidal thoughts
These symptoms are not normal at any age and should be considered an illness in the elderly. Most behavioral/emotional illnesses in older adults are treatable, especially if dealt with early.
You are not alone
Half of all Americans will experience a behavioral health illness during their lifetime. Depression and other emotional illnesses are a significant problem among the elderly. Nineteen million people will suffer from depression at one time in their lives. Of these, 80 percent to 90 percent can be treated effectively.
- National statistics show that one out of four older adults suffers from serious emotional problems due to age
- Depressed older adults have the highest risk of suicide
The caring and compassionate professionals of DeKalb Regional Medical Center‘s Senior Behavioral Health Service are here to help you care for your aging parent or loved one. We can help you understand what is happening and determine the best course of care
How we can help
DeKalb Regional Medical Center‘s Senior Behavioral Health Service offers individualized care in a warm, supportive atmosphere. The goal is to stabilize the patient while in the hospital and help each patient determine safe and suitable living options upon discharge. The multi-disciplinary team first does a thorough evaluation to help determine what is causing the changes in behavior. They check for underlying medical issues that may contribute to the patient’s condition. Based upon the findings, a team works with the patient, family and other healthcare providers to develop a course of treatment that best meets the needs of the individual.
- Diagnostic assessment and evaluation
- One-on-one visits with a psychiatrist
- Nutritional assessments
- Art and expressive therapy
- Stabilize and manage medications
- Manage secondary medical needs
- Patient and family education
- Assist with discharge and aftercare planning
When one person in the family suffers from a behavioral or emotional illness, everyone in the family is affected. The staff at DeKalb Regional Medical Center understands this and encourages family members to express their feelings and learn new ways to cope with their frustrations. Staff at DeKalb Regional Medical Center can help re-establish healthy communication, leading to stronger family ties and happier lives.
For more information or to schedule a confidential consultation, please call 256-997-2725. We are here to help.
With treatment, many older adults with mental illnesses are able to return to productive and fulfilling lives.