Geriatric Services

Mental Healthcare of Cullman is committed to providing high quality mental health services to the residents of nursing homes / health care centers in Cullman, Colbert, and Lauderdale Counties.

Over the past 15 years we have helped hundreds of residents adjust to long term residential living, recover for losses in their lives, and strengthen the coping skills needed to survive, even flourish, in their new environment.

We have been there in the time of need to provide education, assistance, and a helping hand. In short, to give hope and to let everyone know that no matter what their circumstance, they have options.

For more information, you can contact the Program Director.


We offer a wide array of services

Geriatric Services offers a wide assortment of professional mental health services to nursing home residents who may be adjusting to changes in their lives or experiencing emotional difficulties. We also provide specialized services for the nursing home staff.

Assessment

A detailed assessment is completed, including the Mini-Mental Status Exam, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Functional Screening Assessment. Diagnoses are made according to guidelines developed by the American Psychiatric Association using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and approved by a licensed psychiatrist.

Individual Therapy

Master level counselors provide professional, confidential counseling one-on-one, helping clients process feelings and work through issues. Many times it just helps to have somebody to talk to.


Family Support

Family support provides education to family members regarding the aging process, mental illness, and how to better cope with their situation. Family support is available to anyone who has a resident enrolled in the Geriatric Services program. Call 256-734-4688 ext 128 for more information about this free service.

Crisis Intervention

Geriatric Services staff are on-site at the nursing home week days from 8 am to 5 PM. Emergency help is also available 24 hours a day.

Basic Living Skills

Mental Health Technicians provide education to clients regarding symptoms, and work with them to implement new coping skills. The techs assist the client and therapist in reaching the treatment plan goals.

Psychiatric Evaluations

The Mental Health Center employs several psychiatrists who are available for complete full psychiatric work-ups, consultation, and medication evaluations. The resident must be able to travel to the Counseling Center for this service. The family or facility shall provide transportation and we require that someone knowledgeable of the resident’s history and current condition accompany them to their appointments.

Mental Health Consults

Geriatric Services staff are available to the nursing home staff daily for consultation regarding clients. In addition, our staff consult with other professionals as needed to provide the best possible service.

Specialized Training

Geriatric Services staff are available at no cost to provide in-service training to the facilities on a wide variety of relevant topics.

General Program Information

How needs mental health services?

Psychiatric disorders are quite common among elderly persons placed in long term residential care facilities. Recent studies indicate 75% or more of all those currently placed suffer from some form of diagnosable, emotional problem. Many times, these conditions, which do not represent the normal aging process, are treatable with therapy and / or medication.

Here are some symptoms, all of which are treatable:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety / worry
  • Decreased interest in life
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Depressed mood
  • Inappropriate social behavior
  • Crying spills
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Low self-esteem
  • "just waiting to die"
  • Suicidal comments
  • Hopeless statements
  • "Can't sit still"
  • Numerous complaints
  • Seeing things not present
  • Thinking others are out to get them
  • False beliefs

Are services free?

No, services are not free, but they are available to all that need them. Geriatric Services is a program of Mental Healthcare of Cullman. We are not a state agency. We are a public, non-profit organization, which provides mental health services. Like other medical and mental health providers, we provide services on a fee-for-service basis.

We accept most insurance plans that pay for mental health services. If the resident has Medicaid, we can bill Medicaid directly, without cost to the resident or their family. Residents who have no insurance but wish to privately pay for services can be billed. Call 256-734-4688 ext 128 for more information.

Enrollment process

Geriatric Services works closely with Social Services at each facility. All referrals must come through the social worker. If you work at the long term residential care facility and believe a certain resident would benefit from mental health services, talk to your supervisor and social services about possible referral. If you have family at the facility that might benefit from mental health services, talk with the social worker about which services might be appropriate for your loved one.

The program is not for everyone. There are specific guidelines and criteria for admittance into the program. Geriatric Services staff is available at each facility to explain more about the program. Geriatric Services staff will be happy to talk with family members or facility staff at anytime. If you prefer, you can call the Geriatric Services supervisor at 256-734-4688 ext 128 for more information.

Need Mental Health Services?

We have staff ready to assist you.

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Support Mental Health

Contributions are an important part of our funding. We depend on people just like you to enable us to provide services in Cullman. Last year we served more than 3700 clients. Please support us. Make your contribution today.

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