Senior Behavioral Wellness

Support for Senior Behavioral Wellness

Many seniors have emotional concerns that have grown from their own unique life experiences. Counseling and support can help. Senior Behavioral Wellness at Perry Memorial Hospital is designed to help seniors live their best, happiest and most productive lives.

What goes on at Senior Behavioral Wellness?

Life can have unexpected challenges that can be more difficult to handle in Senior years. Senior Behavioral Wellness (SBW) offers Medicare recipients age 65 and older, group counseling and/or individual counseling in a safe environment with a licensed therapist. Group counseling helps Seniors realize others have similar difficulties and they are not the only one. We help Seniors explore and validate their feelings about what has happened to them in later life; teach them ways to cope with their present situations, and rebuild their hope and confidence. As they journey together, they learn more about themselves, recognize their strengths, and affirm and support one another.

How can I refer a patient to the program?

Anyone may refer a patient to the program, including healthcare providers, loved ones and friends. You can call us at 815-876-2004 or fax a referral form to 815-876-2008. To avoid adding additional stress to the individual being referred, we do ask that you let the individual know we will be contacting him or her.

What are the some of the reasons for a referral?

Patients’ common complaints include: 

  • Loneliness
  • Feelings of worthlessness/uselessness
  • Excessive worry/fear
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Sadness/tearfulness
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Isolation from others
  • Hopelessness
  • Difficulty accepting limitations
  • Grieving
  • Anger/frustration over changes in living situation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Struggle with medical conditions
  • Loss of purpose/loss of independence

What happens after referral?

After we receive your referral, the first step begins with a phone call by a staff member at SBW to set up a screening. Our screening will assess their physical and cognitive capacity to actively participate in treatment. The screening tools assess the presenting problem, current symptoms, history of treatment, current levels of depression and anxiety, and risk factors to determine a current mini-mental status. The screening also identifies how the patient may benefit from SBW services.

How are treatment costs covered?

Many individuals ask “will my insurance pay for this program?” The cost of services is covered by traditional Medicare and most supplemental insurance health plans and/or Medicaid. Normal deductibles and co-pays may apply. Before a patient is ever admitted, a financial verification is completed to verify benefits and eligibility based on their insurance and coverage. 

The next step after the screening is a Psychiatric Evaluation by the Medical Director, Dr. Scott Arbaugh via telehealth. Dr. Arbaugh determines diagnosis and appropriateness for the program. He writes orders for frequency and intensity of treatment: Group therapy up to three days per week, individual sessions and medication management. 

Treatment is individualized per patient. Group sessions are offered Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. with lunch being provided as part of the program. Transportation is also available at no charge with the support of the psych tech. Our nurse will work with patients' healthcare providers to assist with continuity of care.

What are the goals of SBW services?

Our goals are for you to return to a place of happiness and hopefulness by achieving a sense of peace in your life and to feel yourself again. Along the path of rediscovering yourself, you will be gaining insight into your specific concerns and learning healthy coping skills to meet the challenges that life presents.

What if the patient is anxious about group therapy?

It is very natural for an individual’s anxiety level to increase with the thought of coming to the group. We tell our patients, “it takes courage to walk through the door and just showing up is 90%."  After several sessions working together, they are comfortable in the group environment and have fun. 

How do I contact Senior Behavioral Wellness?

Refer a friend, neighbor or family member. Call 815-876-2004, fax: 815-876-2008 or email the referral form to ahughes@perrymemorial.org.