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Teletherapy services provide at-home care for seniors experiencing depression, anxiety or loneliness

PHILIPPI – Broaddus Hospital’s 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.  The group began offering teletherapy to its patients on April 22, 2020 allowing them to receive the care they need while remaining safe and secure at home.

Licensed therapists now provide teletherapy services via telephone or computer. After an initial assessment, the team individualizes a plan of care for each patient. Therapy is offered three times per week in an encouraging, supportive setting.  All Senior Life Solutions services are confidential and HIPAA compliant.  

Donetta McVicker BSN, RN Program Director of Senior Life Solutions said, “This new service allows our patients to continue to receive services of group and individual therapy but from the safety of their homes.  During a group session, participants dial in on the phone or log in from a computer during a scheduled meeting time. Each patient has the opportunity to express their needs and share their feelings, allowing them 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 quickly to a remote environment because of their 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 includes 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.   

McVicker added, “It is wonderful being part of a program that improves the quality of life for such a vulnerable population in our community. 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 (304) 457-8132.

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