By Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick
Host of Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist – #TheIncrementalist
On this episode I talked to Sherie Friedrich, Chief Psychology Officer at MediTelecare a company delivering telehealth behavioral services to skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
An often overlooked component of post-discharge patient care is behavioral health, although 20% of people over the age of 55 have some form of mental health condition and this impacts readmission rates doubling for those with mental health issues. Historically we have failed to recognize the importance of adding psychological interventions rather than pharmacological interventions.
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We are social human beings and need community and social interactions but as we age society in general struggles to include older generations and this group has been underserved. As Sherie notes during her training society had mostly written off this group.
“There is no life after 60″
Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth and amongst the many silver linings of the pandemic has been the spotlight focus on this area and the opportunity to deliver a higher more compassionate level of care to this population. During the pandemic, we even saw people “Dying from loneliness” something that should trouble everyone as we all face our own mortality and frailty of aging.
We discuss the challenges of resources and the struggle to attract more people into the profession for caring for the elderly from a physical standpoint as well as their mental health with solutions that need to address the recruitment and retention of people who have historically felt very undervalued in these roles. We discuss other countries and societies and what we can learn from them and the potential for technology to amplify our resources and expand the reach, especially to the under-served communities whose inequity was further amplified by the pandemic.
Listen in to hear the key things we need to bring to bear to our elderly population that can capitalize on the opportunity to bring more individualized psychotherapy, cognitive care planning, and specialized care to our elder community in a more consistent and accessible format.
About the Show
For years Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick, has served as a voice on the impact of new technologies on healthcare, earning a reputation as a leading authority on where the future of medicine is going. Combining powers of observation and real world experience, Dr. Nick has seen many predictions come true and makes the case that innovations in healthcare can be accomplished incrementally, not just by moonshot events. Tune in to hear Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist and his guests discuss what the future of healthcare looks like, how we will get there, and what it will take to improve healthcare for all.
This article was originally published on the Dr. Nick – The Incrementalist blog and is republished here with permission.