Long-term care psychologists often can help prevent rehospitalizations (McKnight’s guest post)

Posted by Dr. El - October 10, 2012 - Transitions in care - 2 Comments

Here’s my latest guest post on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:

Long-term care psychologists often can help prevent rehospitalizations

Long-term care psychologists are a valuable resource for facilities looking to reduce their hospital readmission rates. As the only team member whose role it is to sit and talk with the residents for an extended period of time on a regular basis, psychologists are privy to a relationship that can help address root causes of readmission such as medication noncompliance and the recognition and timely reporting of symptoms, as well as follow-through with medical appointments after discharge.

Psychologists can:

1. Notice mental status changes before other staff members.  Because interactions are based on extended conversations with residents, psychologists are frequently able to spot subtle alterations in cognition that wouldn’t be noticed during a med pass or routine caregiving.

2. Discover previously unreported symptoms.  Due to the amount of time psychologists spend with the residents and the level of trust that develops in the psychotherapeutic relationship, residents often reveal important symptoms of their illnesses they might not share with medical staff.

3. Gather information from communication-challenged residents.  Psychologists can gather info from residents who speak slowly or need to use communication devices and then share it with the team, saving staff time and providing important details.

 For more, visit McKnight’s LTC News:

Long-term care psychologists often can help prevent rehospitalizations

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 For more on how nursing home psychologists can help those in LTC:

Free Audio:  Interview by Psychotherapist Bill O’Hanlon

In this audio, mental health expert Bill O’Hanlon talks with Dr. El about the role of nursing home psychologists and how their work can transform facilities and improve the lives of residents, families, and staff members.

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