Fayette County Memorial Hospital’s (FCMH) Senior Life Solutions, an intensive outpatient group therapy program for seniors, successfully made the transition to providing services remotely due to COVID-19 safety precautions, according to officials. Senior Life Solutions began offering teletherapy to its patients on May 15, allowing them to receive the care they need while remaining safe and secure at home.
While traditional, in-person group therapy is still taking place, teletherapy services are an option for those who are concerned about their exposure to COVID-19 or are unable to leave home.
Teletherapy services are provided via telephone or computer by a licensed professional counselor. After an initial assessment, Senior Life Solutions individualizes a care plan for each patient where they meet up to three times per week in an encouraging, supportive setting. All Senior Life Solutions services are confidential and HIPAA compliant.
Angie Mellott, program director at FCMH Senior Life Solutions, said, “Our new teletherapy services allow our patients to continue to reap the benefits of group and individual therapy but from the safety of their homes. During a group session, we all dial in on the phone or log in from a computer at the same time, and each patient has the opportunity to form a bond and sometimes even friendship with other members in the group who are experiencing similar life changes.”
The program is managed by a national behavioral healthcare management company, Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC), and was able to move so quickly to a remote environment as a result of PMC’s previous investment in telehealth services. Senior Life Solutions has incorporated telehealth into its care model for more than a decade.
Other Senior Life Solutions staff include a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed social workers, and a registered nurse, dedicated to the emotional well-being of the seniors in the community.
Individuals may benefit from the program if they are experiencing symptoms of age-related depression or anxiety, dealing with difficult life transitions, a recent health diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one.
Mellott added, “It is wonderful being part of a program that improves the quality of life for such a vulnerable population in our community, and emotional health services are needed more than ever during these difficult times.”
Referrals to the program can be made by anyone, including a patient’s physician, family member, self-referral, or another healthcare professional. For more information, call 740-333- 2226 or visit www.fcmh.org.