Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit will keep continuum of care local

Local nursing home officials are excited for the opening of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s new Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit (SBMCU), saying it will satisfy a real need in the community.

SOMC’s new unit provides care for seniors experiencing symptoms such as dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s or psychosis. The fact these services will be available in Portsmouth will make care available and convenient to more seniors.

“Sometimes, nursing homes have patients that might need the kind of care you would receive from a Behavioral Medicine unit,” Scott Powell, administrator of Concord Nursing and Rehab, said. “Right now we’re sending a lot of those patients to Cincinnati, and it’s just not good to send patients that far out of the community. SOMC’s unit will help keep the continuum of care local.”

Lori Head of Best Care Nursing and Rehab agrees.

“The travel can be taxing on patients and their families,” Head said. “The SBMCU is going to make it very convenient for them, and it’s going to be a great asset to the nursing home community because it’s a trusted facility that we all know and greatly appreciate.

“We all appreciate having SOMC in our community and to have the Behavioral Unit along with it is going to work out great.”

Heartland of Portsmouth’s Belinda Lesley said that, because the unit will be providing care so close to home, it will make behavioral medicine available to patients who otherwise may have declined it to avoid the travel.

“We’ve sent seven patients out of the area so far this year,” Lesley said. “A local resource like SOMC’s SBMCU will allow us to not only keep those patients near their families, but to refer more patients for care in the future.”

The Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit is located on the second floor of SOMC’s Main Campus and features 15 private rooms. For more information, or to refer a patient, contact the SBMCU at 740-356-2200.