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.
- 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
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
- Low self-esteem
- Combative behavior
- Confused thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts
- Change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
- Failing memory
- Social isolation
- Paranoia, hallucinations or delusions
- Unresolved grief issues
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.
Medicare and most private insurance plans cover Heritage Program services.
For more information, please view the Heritage Program Brochure or call 308.728.4340.
Gold Star Award
Mary is always willing to help where ever needed. She is always smiling and makes everyone feel welcomed. Mary takes time out of busy work day to lend a hand to Co-Associates and patients.
Mary noticed that a couple was having quite a time getting to acute care to visit a patient. They sat for a while admiring the beautiful scenery and after a moment of catching their breath the gentleman asked Mary if they could borrow a wheel chair. Mary being Mary responded "Wait here for one minute." She re-appeared with a wheel chair and wheeled the visiting lady to the room of the patient that they were here to visit. Her husband walking beside his wife as they journeyed down the hall. Happy conversation, smiles and laughter took the place of a difficult journey.
Mary showed, compassion, ownership, respect, integrity and most of all shared a great moment of trust with the visiting couple. People taking care of people, that's why we all are here! Mary you are a Gold Shining Star!