The Medical Center of Aurora Proudly Offers Behavioral Health Services for Colorado Seniors

According to the most recent statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness, yet in 2015 nearly 60% of affected Coloradoans never sought treatment1. The Behavioral Health and Wellness Center at Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA) is determined to not only provide access to resources for those suffering from mental illness, but also to improve the personal health and wellbeing of all of their patients. As a result, TMCA proudly offers both inpatient and outpatient mental health services for adolescents, adults, and seniors, and dedicates their entire North Campus to serving those in need of psychiatric care.

As their most tenured program, the geriatric inpatient unit is well established in the community, and has been providing acute psychiatric care for seniors throughout the state of Colorado since 1999.

Cindy Meyer, the Chief Administrative Officer for Behavioral Health at The Medical Center of Aurora, said “Our focus has always been to serve the needs of our community, so we are proud to be one of the few facilities in Colorado that are able to offer psychiatric services and wellness programs for seniors.”

The geriatric unit is staffed with a comprehensive clinical team including professionally licensed gerontologists, physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, as well as multiple specialized therapists and technicians, which allows them to provide truly holistic mental healthcare for seniors. Moreover, TMCA’s Medical Director is board certified specializing in geriatric psychiatry, further strengthening their commitment to provide specialized psychiatric treatment for Colorado’s seniors, especially those experiencing cognitive and functional decline due to the onset of dementia.

Aurora’s 20 bed senior inpatient unit has private rooms available, so that patients can receive treatment in a safe and comfortable environment. Their clinical team emphasizes a patient centered approach to care, and in turn, chooses to utilize a program based model, which focuses on recognizing mental health triggers and developing coping skills rather than strictly focusing on medication management. The senior program grants patients 24 hour access to a staff psychiatrist, in addition to 7 group therapies during weekdays, and 5 group therapies on weekends. These therapies include individual and group psychotherapy, family therapy, and a host of specialized programs including occupational, recreational, music, art, and pet therapy. Additionally, families and loved ones are encouraged to be actively involved as support systems so that they can continue to foster positive outcomes developed during programming, and continually support each senior’s individualized after care plan.

As the population in Colorado continues to age, The Medical Center of Aurora works tirelessly to ensure that seniors have access to the behavioral health care they need, and that their treatment programs not only provide support to the senior community in times of crisis, but also empower them to develop the coping skills necessary to deal with everyday life.

1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: Colorado, 2015. HHS Publication No. SMA–16–Baro–2015–CO. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015

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