Aging brings a variety of life changes. Some welcome, some not. One change that is not a normal part of the aging process is depression or anxiety.

Excelsior Springs Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of individuals typically 65 and older experiencing depression and/or anxiety related to life changes that are often associated with aging.

Feeling down every once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last a few weeks or months, you may be dealing with something more serious.

If you are someone you know has experienced any of the following, this program might be right for you.

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of sadness or grief lasting more than two weeks
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Lost a spouse or close family member
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Recently experienced a traumatic event

After assessing an individual’s needs, participants meet up to three times per week in a supportive, encouraging group setting.

The program staff includes a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed therapists, a registered nurse, and other professionals dedicated to the emotional well-being of the seniors in our community.

Anyone can make a referral to the program. This includes self, family members, physicians, or other healthcare professionals.

For more information about Excelsior Springs Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program, call 816-629-2629.

Senior Life Solutions is located behind Excelsior Springs Hospital located at 1700 Rainbow Blvd. Please watch for signage.

About Senior Life Solutions

Founded in 2003, Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC) operates inpatient and outpatient programs located in rural communities across the country. Founder and Chief Medical Officer, James A. Green, M.D., a geriatric psychiatrist, was born and raised in a rural community, which today hosts a rural hospital. He developed PMC with the sole mission to improve the quality of life of older adults living in rural communities. PMC, which operates the Senior Life Solutions outpatient program and Green Oak Behavioral inpatient facilities, is one of the largest geriatric mental health management companies within rural hospitals across the United States.

Seasonal Community Education, Provided by Excelsior Springs Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions Program:

Suicide Prevention & Awareness

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), there are an
average of 130 suicide deaths per day and an estimated 1.2 million suicide attempts in 2020.
Each year during September, we join with others across the country to help bring
awareness to suicide and encourage education in hopes of preventing suicide. Suicide
Prevention and Awareness Month is a chance to take time to stop and assess yourself
and those around you to ensure those who need help have access to it, but what do you
do if someone you love may be having thoughts of suicide? On the next page learn
about #BeThe1To’s five evidence-supported action steps to take if someone you know
is in crisis.

ASK.
a. Asking “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates that you’re open
to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way.
Asking in this direct, unbiased manner, can open the door for effective
dialogue about their emotional pain and can allow everyone involved to
see what next steps need to be taken.

BE THERE.
a. Being there for someone could mean physically being present, talking on
the phone, through video chat, or any other means of showing support. It
is very important that you do not commit to things you are not willing or
able to accomplish and ensure that the ways you say you will provide
support happen.

KEEP THEM SAFE.
a. If you have determined your loved one is thinking about suicide it is then
important to establish immediate safety. This can be done by asking
questions like “Have you tried to do anything to harm yourself?” “Do you
have a specific, detailed plan? If so, what are the timing and their access
to the method?” Knowing the answers to each of these questions can
help you determine the level of danger the person is in. For example,
the more specific steps they have in place for their plan, the higher
their severity of risk is.

HELP THEM CONNECT.
a. Connect them with the new 988 Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line’s number

Help them explore their options. Have they seen a mental health
professional in the past? If so, could they see them again? What mental
health resources are available in your community? Do they have a safety
plan in place?

FOLLOW UP.
a. After you have connected them to the immediate support they need,
it’s important to follow up to see how they are doing. Following up
allows them to ask for more help if needed and you an opportunity to
do anything you said you would do but haven’t gotten the chance to do
yet.

BeThe1To reminds us that suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately. If you are in
crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call or text the Suicide and Crisis
Lifeline at 988.

We are Excelsior Springs Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions, a program designed to meet
the unique needs of individuals typically 65 and older, experiencing depression or
anxiety related to life changes often associated with aging. If you want more
information, education, or discuss support, please call 816-629-2629 or visit
https://www.eshospital.org.