Psychiatric Hospital Helps Family Caregivers Manage Alzheimer’s Disease

Elder care

By Unity Psychiatric Care Huntsville

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can feel like you’re never in control, especially when a loved one’s behavior becomes erratic and unmanageable. Jane’s family knows this all too well. 

Jane (whose name was changed to protect her privacy) suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and had moved in with her son and daughter-in-law after her husband’s death. Recently, Jane started wandering out of the house and walking up and down the street. She also began acting aggressively toward family members. Not sure what to do, the family consulted her doctor who referred them to Unity Psychiatric Care, a short-term psychiatric hospital in Huntsville.

Though initially hesitant, the family contacted the hospital and Jane was admitted.  The Unity Psychiatric Care team quickly helped stabilize Jane’s behavior and created a treatment plan that would enable her to be discharged to a residential community.

“I was concerned about the stigma of a psychiatric facility for my mother-in-law,” Jane’s daughter-in-law wrote to the hospital, “but the staff and doctors made her at ease. She settled into the regular institutional life and was ready to move to memory care.” 

A specialty psychiatric hospital like Unity Psychiatric Care in Huntsville has the unique expertise and resources to treat medical and behavioral issues in older adults with dementia. Patients can be self-admitted or referred by a family or medical provider. A typical stay lasts about 14 days and provides comprehensive care for seniors struggling with behaviors like: 

  • Difficulty adjusting to losses
  • Significant changes in appetite, sleep patterns or energy
  • Loss of interest in appearance or self-care
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
  • Hearing or seeing things that are not real
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Increasing difficulty with memory
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Extreme fluctuations in weight
  • Sudden inability to deal with stressful situations
  • Assaultive or combative behaviors
  • Acute deterioration of coping skills

“It’s important that families know they are not alone in this fight,” says Dr. Donald Klasing, medical director at Unity Psychiatric Care in Huntsville. “We provide a safe, therapeutic environment to address patients’ psychological and physical needs, which maximizes their functional abilities and improves quality of life.”   

Unity Psychiatric Care also offers support services for families, helping them adapt and respond to the impacts of dementia.  For patients who need additional care to maintain stability Dr. Klasing provide outpatient services in his office or in nearby nursing homes.   

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