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One in four seniors experience at least one mental health condition, and that number might very well double in the next decade. The best care for seniors involves taking care of both their physical and mental well-being, yet the mental health of older patients is seldom examined and treated.
There are many hurdles to mental health treatment, including the stigma associated with psychiatric disorders that may discourage people from reaching out. Depression is the most prominent mental health disorder among seniors, but within this demographic, anxiety is still very widespread.
Another deterrent is cost. The cost of treatment for mentally ill persons is high. Older patients with depression use as much as fifty percent or more treatment facilities than non-depressed seniors, with fifty percent higher costs.
Few older people undergo care, considering the high incidence of mental health conditions. Seniors are 40 percent less likely than younger adults to obtain or undergo mental health care, and elderly people with mental health problems often do not receive appropriate treatment.
It is crucial to devote ample time and energy to thoroughly resolve the mental health challenges of patients to glean a more comprehensive picture of their overall needs. A value-based approach to treatment encourages healthcare providers to concentrate on a patient’s physical as well as mental health needs. This model, on average, has physicians spending up to 45 minutes with a patient when necessary, more than double the usual doctor visit. This helps primary care doctors establish trustworthy patient relationships and have in-depth interactions that help recognize issues with mental health. Other critical components for bringing people the treatment they deserve include educating care staff members to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, as well as the use of psychological screeners.
This update is provided by CareOptimize. We provide healthcare management consulting services and products, managed care solutions, value-based expertise, Nextgen EHR utilities, MIPS consulting, and more. CareOptimize has helped numerous healthcare organizations succeed for more than a decade. For more information, please call