Mercy Health – Cincinnati announces that Clermont Hospital now offers senior behavioral health services from its new 18-bed, inpatient senior behavioral health unit.

“If you are caring for an elderly parent or loved one, we want you to know you are not alone,” said Justin Krueger, President, Clermont Hospital. “Our team helps patients and their families understand what is driving changes in behavior and determine the best course of care.”

Signs and symptoms that a loved one may be experiencing an emotional illness include:

  • Insomnia or too much sleep
  • Crying spells
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Sad or blank looks
  • Disregard for personal appearance
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • Social isolation
  • “These symptoms are not normal at any age and should be considered an illness in the elderly. Depression and many other emotional illnesses in older people are treatable, especially if dealt with early,” said Krueger.

    Developed in partnership with the community, including Clermont Senior Services, Adult Protective Services and local law enforcement, among others, Clermont Hospital’s Senior Behavioral Health Services unit offers expert care close to home in a warm and supportive atmosphere.

    “We serve a unique patient population of older adults with a variety of conditions, including progression of chronic psychiatric illnesses such as depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders and schizophrenia and neuro-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s-related dementia, dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies,” said Stephen Wilkes, MD, Medical Director, Geriatric Psychiatry, Clermont Hospital.

    The professional Senior Behavioral Health Services team, which is made up of nurses, psychiatrists, trained counselors and social workers, evaluates each patient thoroughly to develop a course of treatment, which can include individual meetings with psychiatrists, group therapy with seniors struggling with similar problems and educational programs.

    Mercy Health anticipates that the unit, which cost $4.9 million, will treat 500 patients annually.

    In addition to improving a senior’s outlook on life, therapy also helps individuals to better care for themselves and follow their primary care provider’s directions, particularly about taking medications. For more information or to schedule a consultation for senior behavioral health services, please call 513-735-5700.