New Mercy program focuses on seniors’ behavioral health

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Aging brings many joys, like more time with family and freedom with retirement, but our later years can also bring difficult life transitions – including the loss of loved ones and the stress of age-related health concerns.

Mercy Hospital Berryville has now partnered with Senior Life Solutions. This intensive outpatient group therapy program is designed to meet the unique needs of adults over the age of 65 who struggle with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, sleep disturbances or other behavioral health conditions.

“Our ultimate goal is to keep patients healthy, both physically and mentally,” said Lynette Bennett, director of the program. “We’re attacking problems from a very holistic approach because, if left untreated, there’s a risk of ongoing hospitalization.”

Following an individual assessment, participants of Senior Life Solutions at Mercy meet three times per week in a supportive, encouraging group environment.

“The program will also feature a secure video conferencing system, known as telepsychiatry, to help patients continue consistent care plans even when weather or other issues may disrupt their schedules,” Bennett continued.

Mercy Hospital Berryville underwent several renovations to make room for the Senior Life Solutions program. Team members include a Mercy board-certified psychiatrist, registered nurse, and a Mercy licensed therapist — all dedicated to the emotional well-being of seniors community-wide.

“Behavioral health issues historically take a back seat to everything else,” explained Doug Stroemel, Mercy Hospital Berryville administrator. “This is going to make a big difference for many lives in the region.”

Anyone can make a referral to the program including a patient’s physician, health care professional, or family member. To learn more about Senior Life Solutions offered at Mercy Hospital Berryville (214 Carter St.), call 870-423-5299.

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