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 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
Provides care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients.
- 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. 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.
Gold Star Award
"Dawn Sweesy is a great asset to VCHS in the Acute and ER departments. She represents the core values every shift she works.
Ownership: Dawn takes ownership every shift to ensure that our patients receive the best care. She holds those around her to a standard, and she is an excellent advocate for the patients. As a charge nurse, she keeps the staff working together to provide high quality care.
Compassion: Dawn cares about her coworkers and patients. She has a desire to alleviate suffering and improve the health of every patient she works with.
Integrity: Dawn is great at the hard things. When having a dilemma with patient care, she is available to talk it through with you and help decide what is in the patient’s best interest. She encourages ethical behavior and expects follow through.
Respect: Dawn has an amazing sense of humor and is fun to work with because she treats all patients and coworkers with respect. Dawn’s leadership abilities encourage good working relationships and mutual respect.
Trust: Dawn exemplifies a reliable and responsible coworker. She has a large knowledge base and wealth of experience and is a good teacher. Dawn is available to help when problems arise and exudes trustworthiness with the patients."