Heritage Program for Seniors

The VCHS Heritage Program for Seniors is a behavioral health program that provides individualized treatment for older adults who struggle with emotional or behavioral issues. Our philosophy is to provide quality care that stresses the importance of dignity, respect, confidentiality and helping the individual to achieve an optimal level of functioning.

The Heritage Program is an outpatient program that provides intensive treatment Monday through Friday at Valley County Health System. Patients receive services in the least restrictive environment and are able to return to their homes by early afternoon.

Problems and Needs of the Elderly

The elderly and their caregivers have unique problems and needs. Physical decline, loss of independence and safety concerns are just a few of the concerns that require special attention and can contribute to depression and other mental health issues for the elderly. Healthcare professionals have identified that emotional problems decrease the ability to cope with the natural aging process.

Mental Health Disorders affect at least 20% of individuals aged 55 and older.
Depression and other disorders are often undiagnosed and untreated in older patients, due in part to the presence of other complicating medical complaints.
The risk for depression in the elderly is 4x greater than for the general population.

Program Components

  • Group, family and individual therapy
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict-resolution skills
  • Stress management
  • Assertiveness training
  • Coping skills
  • Positive-living skills
  • Medication management
  • Health and wellness training
  • Grief and loss resolution

    Treatment Team

    The Heritage Program's treatment modalities are designed to meet the unique needs of older adults by education of patients, families and caregivers regarding mental health issues affecting daily living. Treatment is supervised by a Board Certified Geriatric Psychiatrist and provided by a team that includes Master Level clinicians. Most importantly, each member of the Heritage team is caring, compassionate and professional while maintaining the patient's confidentiality.

    Who Could Benefit From the Heritage Program?

    The person whose quality of life has been diminished by physical or emotional stressors.
    The person who has not progressed or benefited sufficiently in less intensive treatment settings.
    The person whose mental health is declining and might require inpatient care unless treatment is provided.

    Signs and Symptoms of Mental Distress in the Elderly

    • Anxiety
    • Anger
    • Low self-esteem
    • Agitation
    • Combative behavior
    • Confused thoughts
    • Crying
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
    • Depression
    • Disorientation
    • Failing memory
    • Irritability
    • Social isolation
    • Paranoia, hallucinations or delusions
    • Unresolved grief issues

      Admission

      Any concerned individual may refer themselves or someone else to the program. The Heritage Program provides an initial clinical assessment at no cost to determine the need for further evaluation.

      Payment

      Medicare and most private insurance plans cover Heritage Program services.

      For more information, please view the Heritage Program Brochure or call 308.728.4340.

      Associate Recognition

      Gold Star Award

      Melanie Hansen

      Integrity: In September and October, this person was taking on multiple positions. Her plate was extremely full, but she never complained and then was more than willing to help train a person to take over her previous position.

      Professionalism: Even doing her job duties, she is always more than willing to help with what is asked of her, and has taken on more roles, all while still asking “How can I help you?” with a smile on her face. If the weather is bad, she comes in early. She is constantly thinking outside the box with how we can best help our residents.

      Respect:  She is always willing to listen and give valuable input to resident needs or LTC development.

      Compassion:  She is compassionate about her work, residents and families that we care for.  If she ever needs to be in charge, we can trust her to make the right decisions.

      Ownership & Communication: She takes her job role very seriously. To ensure our residents receive the best care needed to meet their needs, she is constantly working on care plans and communicating with the resident’s family members.

      COMMITTED TO THE TEAM: She is very committed to our team, is a joy to work with, and has been a big help during our transition at VVLC!

       Congratulations, Melanie Hansen!  You are a Gold Shining Star!


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