Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Green Oak Behavioral Health grows to meet the region’s needs
CLINTWOOD, Va. – As the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. The number of those diagnosed is increasing each year.*
Alzheimer’s is one of the many conditions treated at the Green Oak Behavioral Health unit, which focuses on senior citizens and the elderly.
Green Oak opened in October 2015 at Dickenson Community Hospital, and is the only inpatient behavioral health unit in Southwest Virginia specifically for older adults. The unit, in conjunction with Senior Life Solutions – Dickenson Community Hospital’s outpatient geriatric behavioral health program – treats patients over the age of 55, and some over the age of 45 (on a case-by-case basis), keeping families that would normally have to travel for these services close to home. Green Oak started out with five beds, but – due to the growing need in the region – recently doubled its capacity, and is now at 10 beds.
“As adults age, it’s common for them to experience life-changing events that can cause emotional strain,” said Mark Vanover, administrator of Dickenson Community Hospital. “Our population in Southwest Virginia is aging, and the need for the kinds of services Green Oak offers is growing.”
With the next closest inpatient behavioral health facility about two hours away, Green Oak provides care close to home for patients from all over Southeastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia.
The unit offers services for older adults who are suffering from a wide range of psychiatric conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, disorientation, increased social withdrawal and isolation, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, sleep disturbances and more.
“We’ve had patients call back and thank us for the help that we’ve given them,” said Christine Bias, nurse manager at Green Oak Behavioral Health. “Family members are very appreciative of this unit.”
To learn more about Green Oak Behavioral Health, visit www.MountainStatesHealth.com/Green-Oak-Behavioral-Health.
*National Institute on Aging