Taking Care of Your Loved Ones – Mind, Body and Spirit

The Sylvia Barr Center in Adel provides care to senior citizens during what may be the most difficult time in their life

There are occasions when seniors have chronic, and at times, complex medical problems which require a serene yet highly structured care environment with 24/7 observations. That’s when The Sylvia Barr Center can help. Located in Adel, The Sylvia Barr Center is a 12-bed distinct unit of Cook Medical Center, offering psychiatric care to seniors aged 55 and older.

Headed by an attending psychiatrist, The Sylvia Barr Center offers a comfortable, dedicated geriatric inpatient unit with a qualified team of treatment professionals. This includes primary care physicians, nurses, social workers and therapist devoted to improving wellbeing when seniors need it the most.

When imagining what a geriatric psychiatric unit treats, the most common psychiatric condition that might come to mind is dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. However, The Sylvia Barr Center treats patients with depression, anxiety, unresolved grief, self-injurous behaviors, or other mental health issues.

The issues affecting seniors are uniquely challenging, but some are not necessarily present at any age in life. When an individual’s emotional problems become disruptive and significantly affect his or her ability to care for basic personal needs, an increased level of care may be needed.

“When discussing the mental health needs of older individuals, it is important to understand the distinction between dementia and mental illness. At the Sylvia Barr Center, we strive to help seniors and their families decipher the best steps to take during this difficult time,” said Dr. Paresh Thanki, psychiatrist and Medical Director of The Sylvia Barr Center. “Our facility is an ideal option for families or individuals who don’t know where to turn.”

The Sylvia Barr Center is a unique service in that it is a distinct unit of Cook Medical Center, a 60-bed acute care hospital facility. Sylvia Barr patients have quick access to the Emergency Department, physical rehabilitation, laboratory, radiology services, and medical doctors without having to be disrupted and transported to another facility. Newly renovated in 2012, The Sylvia Barr Center offers eight private rooms and two semi-private rooms and a group activity room. For privacy and protection of patients, the facility is a secured unit with access requiring a designated code for entry.

Patients can be referred by self, family, physicians, hospitals, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. If the patient is determined to be appropriate for an evaluation of treatment services, the patient requires medical clearance via an assessment at the Cook Medical Center Emergency Department. Once the patient is deemed medically stable to participate in program services, the patient can be admitted onto the unit for an average of seven to 14 days of care.

For more information about The Sylvia Barr Center or how to begin utilizing their services, call (229) 896-8100 or visit http://www.cookmedicalcenter.com.

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