Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia in which people begin to experience increasing problems with their memory, thought patterns, and behaviors. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease that continues to worsen over time. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, with proper treatment and support individuals struggling with the symptoms of the disease have the potential to live a full and happy life.
At Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry, we recognize the sensitive nature that surrounds a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. We know that the symptoms that a person experiences can be heart-breaking for that person as well as for his or her loved ones. That is why our hospital offers the Generations Program, which is designed specifically to meet the needs of our older adult patients. Through this program, we are able to provide our senior adult patients with a comfortable, therapeutic, and supportive environment that is tailored to meet the needs that are unique to older adults.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you are probably struggling with a variety of emotions. You might be scared about what changes are going to occur in your loved one. You might be worried about how you are going to care for him or her in the way that will be needed. You might also be concerned about how your life is going to be impacted with all of the changes that will inevitably come. All of your emotions are completely understandable. Caring for a person who has Alzheimer’s disease can be extremely challenging, but there are some steps that you can take right now to begin preparing for the future care that your loved one will need. Some examples of these steps can include:
- Deciding who will be in charge of making the healthcare and financial decisions for your loved one
- Making arrangements for where your loved one will live
- Determining who will be involved in helping with your loved one’s care
- Developing a daily routine for your loved one, including setting a schedule for who will visit and when those visits will occur
The most important thing to remember during this time is that it is okay to seek outside help. Medical professionals are able to assist you in understanding what to expect and how any medical needs can most effectively be met. Seek out support from other loved ones and research caregiver support groups so that you can learn and receive help from other individuals who are going through the same challenges that you are.
Why Seek Treatment at Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, individuals will most likely begin to exhibit changes in behavior. They may begin making irrational accusations toward loved ones, start getting lost in places that were once familiar to them, begin consistently misplacing things, and may experience a decrease in their ability to communicate properly. People with Alzheimer’s disease may also experience symptoms that can be devastating to their loved ones, such as forgetting who people are and requiring assistance in performing everyday tasks. As memory deteriorates, many people will begin to need around-the-clock care. This can be a difficult thing to accept, but there is no shame in accepting help. People who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may also be diagnosed with other mental illnesses as well as new symptoms that will begin to develop.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and have begun experiencing the confusing symptoms of additional mental health disorders, an inpatient treatment program can be one of the most effective ways to receive thorough treatment. Through the intensive therapeutic interventions that are made available in an inpatient program, you can explore the different emotions that you may be struggling with as a result of your diagnosis as well as all of the frustrations that have arisen as you try to deal with your symptoms. Inpatient programs will also provide you with a safe environment where you will receive care 24 hours a day as you learn to cope with your illness, and they can also aid you in developing new routines that you can implement once you leave treatment.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry, our philosophy centers on an understanding of the fact that all of our patients have a history of life experiences that have aided in making them the people that they are. We know that the problems that they are currently struggling with are only a small part of who they are and who they will become. Our goal for everyone who comes to our treatment center is to find hope and a renewed sense of contentment, happiness, and wellness in a safe and confidential environment.
Types of Treatment Offered at Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry
The treatment that we offer through our Generations program here at Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry is designed to maximize the overall functioning of the older adult and enhance his or her quality of life. We offer a comfortable, state-of-the-art facility maintained by a caring and compassionate staff that make it their goal to help our senior adult patients through each step of their treatment. The services offered through the Generations program are defined by the diagnosis and the level of functioning of each individual patient. We offer an interdisciplinary approach that involves our highly trained and qualified staff of registered nurses, licensed nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, internists, social workers, recreational therapists, mental health associates, state tested nursing assistants, and dieticians who actively assist in the development of individualized, goal-directed nursing care. This team is also responsible for participating in the development of a therapeutic milieu conducive to regaining a maximum state of wellness for each patient. Some of the treatment methods that are incorporated into this individualized care include:
Medication is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in order to help improve mental functioning, mood, and behavior. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, medication can help keep an individual at their highest level of functioning for as long as possible. All medication used is monitored by a primary care physician on a regular basis in order to ensure therapeutic and medical effectiveness and to make any necessary changes.
Individual therapy provides patients with one-on-one time with a therapist where they can discuss emotions surrounding their diagnosis and learn ways in which to cope with the symptoms that they are experiencing as a result of the disease.
Group therapy is held on a daily basis and is meant to be a time where patients can come together with other individuals who are going through similar issues and lean on each other for support. Some group topics may include mood regulation, daily living skills, and medication management.
Family therapy is essential with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease because the illness has significant effects on one’s family members. These sessions are designed to be a time for loved ones to become educated about the illness and learn how to successfully care for someone who is suffering from it. Additionally, family therapy is a good time for everyone to understand the treatment plan and work on establishing routines for daily life.
In our Generations program, patients are also able to receive any physical, occupational, or speech therapy as needed.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
When your time in our inpatient treatment program comes to an end, you and your family will work with your treatment team to develop a plan for continuing care. The discharge process is done to help make the transition to the next level of care go as smoothly as possible. Some of our patients will be referred to our partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program. Both of these are short-term programs designed to allow individuals to continue with the treatment they need while slowly integrating back into the community. If a patient is at the point where he or she will be discharged home, case management will be provided in order to match up the patient with support groups and other outside resources.
In some instances, those who are in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease might not be able to return home and may need to be placed in an assisted living center. If this is the case, we will work with you and your loved ones to identify a program that everyone would be comfortable with.