My last blog post about geriatric consulting is one to reference in a less more formal call to action. Within the next month I will be doing research as to the plausibility of completing the circle of mental health care for elderly in long-term care facilities. I seek to obtain the perspective of every person effected by this gap in care. I wish to obtain the insight of nursing professionals, family members of residents, Certified Nurse’s Aide’s, and I will be speaking to long-term care facility administrators to present them the opportunity to provide services such as these to their residents.
A quick recap for those that have not been made aware; the mental health treatment of the elderly in long-term care facilities is provided at the suggestion of the overstaffed nurses to the psychiatrist/physician rather than a psychiatrist with a specific plan of action for progress including regular counseling which is a part of every treatment plan for adults under the care of a psychiatrist. In my three years as a CNA, working in four different facilities, not once did I ever see a psychiatrist personally evaluate a patient. Not once did I see a therapist/counselor come to the facility for an appointment for a patient, neither did I see a resident/patient transported away from the facility for this service. We have to ask why is there such a gap in the circle of mental health care for the elderly, and what can we do to remedy this?
I plan to work with psychiatrists and nursing home professionals to provide complete mental health care to residents/patients of long-term care facilities with one-on-one appointments. My goal being to provide educated evaluations to provide to the individual’s psychiatrist, as well as an opportunity for personal therapy which is sorely lacking for residents/patients no longer in their homes, under conditions they have very little control over, and potentially very little family near or available to be there when needed. I want to be that person to make the difference. For scheduled appointments, regular appointments, emergency appointments, or anything else that comes up to potentially be beneficial.
Please take the few seconds to share this information on any source you possibly can. It could literally change and potentially lengthen the lives of elderly loved ones. Link to my original business proposal below. Thank you!!
I have started a business. It is still in the early stages, though I expect to be working within three months time. What I wish to do is fill a void that currently exists in our healthcare system. Psychiatric care for the elderly is sorely lacking. My background comes from over three years of experience as a Certified Nurse’s Aide and my Associate’s degree in psychology. In my three years as a CNA, not once did I see a psychiatrist step into the building. The mental health care was being provided by the suggestion of the nurses; whom are not trained in mental health care, and statistically have less than five minutes of one-on-one time with each patient every day. How can this possibly be permissible?
I want to be the middle-man. I want to meet one on one with long-term care patients and elderly to be able to properly produce an evaluation on their mental status for a psychiatrist to make informed decisions about medication management moving forward. All too often I have seen a patient have one rough day and the next day have an ongoing prescription for a sedative that made them an entirely different person. It is truly negligence that deserves to be rectified. With this position I will also be able to include pet and music therapy which have plenty of research to back the immense benefits from an incorporation of different therapies such as these. Group therapies would be a prime opportunity for the homes to improve the quality of life of these seniors. One on one appointments will be a time to listen; for those that don’t have the family able to be available regularly.
With this venture I hope to move into a position in which I have a working relationship with several facilities where I can provide emergency psychological care. My primary goal is to help people and make a positive difference in their lives. I expect travel to be a part of this adventure, but I will do whatever it takes to maintain positive relationships and ensure everyone obtains the care they deserve.
Obviously the need is there, but where the problem lies is in the funding for a service such as this. Who is going to pay for it? Insurance companies who are already as stingy as they are? This would end up being an entire new policy for them. Some family members would recognize the need and be able to pay personally, but that leaves out the vast majority that deserves the care just as much as the others. In writing this it feels more like a social justice issue than a business.
I need to get in touch with people that are educated in this area. To help accurately evaluate the need, and potentially come up with ideas for funding. Perhaps there is another option I have not yet considered? Every single person I’ve talked to about this, even over the phone, has heard and interpreted my passion for this. All humans deserve proper mental health care, and it’s simply not happening.
Later on in the business I hope to incorporate therapies such as pet and music therapies. I feel group therapy sessions in long-term care facilities could also be immensely beneficial. This could even be a marketing technique by the facility to be able to offer these services for residents. In the following weeks I plan to be making as many contacts as possible with people within long-term care facilities to get as many perspectives as possible from the directors, nurses, and potentially even residents and family members if they are willing. Please be in touch with any information that could potentially be helpful. Thank you so very much for your time in reading this, and if you wouldn’t mind sharing this on other platforms the further this gets the better!