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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Dementia / Chesapeake Regional Medical Center Discontinues Geropsychiatric Services

Chesapeake Regional Medical Center Discontinues Geropsychiatric Services

Chesapeake Regional Medical Center recently announced that it is closing its geropsychiatric unit due to a change in federal Medicare funding. This unit treated adults 55 and older who suffered from mental disorders such as depression and dementia. The geropsychiatric unit was unique because it provided treatment to patients with mental issues who also had medical problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia often require special medical attention because they can become confused and agitated in the unfamiliar hospital environment. With the unit’s closure on July 15, the hospital plans to treat older patients with mental disorders through specialized inpatient services, deciding how to proceed with each patient on case-by-case basis.

According to Kay Ashby, president of the Virginia Beach chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health, the unit’s closing will put pressure on the Hampton Roads community to care for seniors who are experiencing mental problems like Alzheimer’s disease. As the Baby Boomer population grows, so will the number of seniors needing this type of care. The closure of the unit in Chesapeake comes on the heels of other recent cutbacks – Eastern State Hospital, which treats mentally ill adults, has decreased its bed capacity by 40% in the past eight years. As more senior citizens require assistance with mental health issues, it may be a challenge to find adequate treatment. Because of these potential difficulties, it is important that you and your family have a plan in place in the event that you suffer from mental incapacity in the future.

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