The Need for Psychological Services

According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics (2016), people 65 years old and older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. By 2030 older adults will account for over 20% of our nation’s population, and there are not enough psychologists currently to meet the needs of this increasing demand. CHE is committed to hiring and training highest caliber clinicians to meet the growing demand of this underserved, yet inspiring population: our nation’s esteemed elders.

At CHE, we recognize the unique needs of our patients, the interdisciplinary team members, and long-term care facilities as a system of care. We offer numerous professional development modalities to support the education and skill-set development of our clinicians to meet these unique needs and areas of competency.

Older (and sometimes younger) adults in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and rehabilitation settings present with a wide diversity of clinical symptoms, behaviors, and psychological diagnoses. These psychiatric and behavioral issues are made more complex by the varying biopsychosocial needs of these residents stemming from health decline, sensory decline, functional decline, cognitive decline, psychosocial and role changes, various losses, and multicultural and cohort differences.

Clinicians in long-term care settings are challenged to expand their scope of practice and knowledge, for example, basic knowledge of common chronic health conditions, health psychology needs (pain management, compliance issues, etc.), dementia syndromes, and key treatment modalities and interventions often relevant to this setting (e.g. motivational interviewing to address noncompliance).

Common Problems Addressed in SNFs that Require Specialized Knowledge:

  • Diverse mental disorders: depression, anxiety, psychosis, trauma, hoarding, Axis II disorders, substance abuse, etc.
  • Dementia syndromes, delirium, mild cognitive impairment, other neurological issues
  • Adjustment to aging-related stresses including reduced independent functioning, changing roles, and changing environments
  • Challenging behaviors such as verbal/physical agitation, noncompliance/refusal of care, etc.
  • Coping with and managing chronic illness
  • Behavioral health concerns such as insomnia, pain, poor health behaviors (smoking)
  • Grief and loss
  • End-of-life concerns/themes of death and dying