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Senior Health Unit

“The senior health unit is a state-of-the-art facility specializing in taking care of seniors with mental health care needs that have not been previously met in Cowley County. The well-trained staff includes nurse practitioners, specialty nurses, activity coordinators, and mental health care physicians. The attending staff are fully integrated into the hospital and will provide 24/7 health care for their patients. Medical coverage will also be provided by our existing medical staff round-the-clock to ensure maximum safety during patients' hospitalization,” - Dr. Perry Lin, SCKMC's Chief of Staff.

SCKMC's Senior Health Unit treats geriatric patients with mental health or emotional problems. As we grow older and lose those we love, sometimes it seems difficult to go on. For some patients, life long problems that were held in check for years past become more pronounced with the aging process. Often a combination of physical problems and emotional problems leave an entire family wondering 'what are we going to do with mom, or dad?'

The first step might be a trip to the family doctor or an assessment by a psychiatrist. An illness like depression can be treated effectively by medication. Often treating the patients' emotional and physical problems together during the same hospital stay can provide significant improvement in the quality of life for an elderly patient.

We frequently get referrals from local family physicians who realize that emotional problems are complicating the physical problems they are treating. Local physicians are invited to follow their patients while on the senior health unit. Referrals also come from families and individuals who self refer to get the help they need. Referrals can be made twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week by calling the hospital. Most patients are Medicare eligible and this service is reimbursable by Medicare. In case of an emergency Dial 911.

Senior citizens spent their entire lives taking care of us, the younger generations, and now frequently have specialized needs in their golden years. I believe that they deserve the best care we as a community can provide as a measure of our gratitude for everything they have done,” - Dr. Perry Lin

Senior citizens spent their entire lives taking care of us, the younger generations, and now frequently have specialized needs in their golden years. I believe that they deserve the best care we as a community can provide as a measure of our gratitude for everything they have done,” - Dr. Perry Lin

We can help those experiencing:

  • Episodes of anxiety or periods of panic
  • Depressions
  • Irrational destructive thoughts or actions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychotic Reactions
  • Episodes of anxiety or periods of panic
  • Irrational, destructive thoughts or actions
  • Stress that interferes or prohibits normal functioning Psychotic reactions
  • Memory or Mental status changes
  • Dementia
  • Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease or other neurological conditions
  • Sudden changes in behavior or thinking patterns *Physical aggression
  • Verbal aggression
  • Decreased socialization, withdrawal or isolation from others
  • Changes in sleep patterns related to depression, anxiety, or other conditions
  • Excessive crying
  • Agitation or anxiety (pacing, wringing hands, verbal aggression)
  • A decrease in the ability to perform activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting)
  • Increased forgetfulness or confusion

Our group of professionals is also able to assist the family in the process of deciding whether placement in a long term care facility or nursing home might be the best solution for their loved one. This is usually a difficult decision and requires much communication between everyone involved.  We provide highly skilled psychiatrists, nurses and social workers to assist patients and families through this process.

The medical center has partnered with Quality Health Care Inc. (QHC) to provide the specialized management of this unit.  Ark City is the fifth location for the Wichita based, privately owned company, also serving Kansas hospitals in Fredonia, Kinsley, Beloit, and Wellington. QHC will be responsible for staffing as well as clinical program implementation for the unit.