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Your Mind's in the Right Place

The Older Adult Behavioral Health Unit at Rockville General Hospital is helping Individual live longer. Our baby boomer generation is aging, creating an increased demand for specialized older adult care, including Behavioral Health needs.

Donna Schneider, LCSW, Program Director has been leading the inpatient unit since April 2018. She brings over 35 years of behavioral health experience and commitment to serve our older adult population. “In the past, it was more challenging to provide psychiatric care to this age group. Inpatient care was typically combined with patients who were much younger. Our older adults now have the opportunity to receive therapeutic care with their peers that share same and similar issues. This peer support is crucial to the comfort our patients feel with each other,” states Donna Schneider.

Older adults experience a variety of challenges as they continue to age. Physical changes may begin to limit day-to-day functioning and increase fears associated with loss of independence and autonomy. The combination of these changes can affect overall well-being and contribute to uncertainty, confusion and depression.

The goals of The Older Adult Behavioral Health Unit is to restore individuals, aged 55 and older, to their highest level of functioning, so they are able to thrive in their individual lives and in their communities. Our unit is a specialized inpatient psychiatric unit designed to assist our older adults who have not responded to traditional treatment in their community of care. Our services include:

  • A short term psychiatric unit that provides a safe and therapeutic acute inpatient care setting.
  • Offering of a wide range of services for psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and dementia with behavioral disturbances.
  • A streamlined admissions process designed to reduce barriers. Timely admissions enable us to begin treatment right away. We accept patients from our service area and are able to accept patients from across the state when the need arises.
  • Individualized care plans that reflect our patient’s particular needs and goals. Treatment plans follow a team model to include various disciplines such as Psychiatrists, APRNs, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Occupational Therapists and assistants, Certified Nursing Assistants and Nursing staff. Our patient’s family and providers are also important to the overall care plan; we value input from current providers and families and use this shared information to help our patients. 
  • One-to-one interactions between the patiet and their treatment team members, as well as group therapy sessions, recreational therapy and family meetings. Group programs are based on the individual’s level of functioning, and provide the patients an opportunity to learn new coping skills with peer support. Peer support is critical for our patients because sharing challenges with others in a similar age range allows our patients to learn they are not alone.

The treatment team works in partnership with outside providers including Primary Care Physicians, Visiting Nurse Association services, etc. to ensure each patient is discharged from the hospital with a comprehensive follow up-care plan. Our older adults may experience physical, emotional and mental changes which can increase slowly over time or present at a more rapid pace.

To successfully serve our older adult population and their families, please contact ECHN's Behavioral Health team if you have noticed changes in aging parents, relatives, or anyone you care about, We can provide information and answer questions in an effort to help you understand how to care for those that you love and how to get the right help at the right time.