#OT and their role in mental health and depression when working in a physical disability setting. Are you truly listening to your patients? | Seniors Flourish.com #SNFOT #homehealthOT #OTtreatmentideas #OTpodcast #OTlove

OT’s Role in Mental Health and Depression in a Physical Disability Setting

Are you addressing depression with your patients that are older adults when working in a physical disability setting? In this week's Seniors Flourish Podcast Betweenisode, Mandy and Sarah chat about how it is imperative that we are listening to our patients and addressing their mental health in any setting. We also talk about how we can easily assess for depression and provide the resources our patients need.

#OT and their role in mental health and depression when working in a physical disability setting. Are you truly listening to your patients? | Seniors Flourish.com #SNFOT #homehealthOT #OTtreatmentideas #OTpodcast #OTlove
Resources from the show:

Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-8255 24 hours/day

OT’s role in mental health (AOTA)

Depression in older adults article (Mental Health America)

My OT Spot Mental Health blog post

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Thanks for Listening!

I appreciate you taking the time to join me this week.

If you have ANY suggestions on OT podcast topics focusing on the older adult, I'd love to hear your suggestions. Head on over to SeniorsFlourish.com/occupationaltherapypodcast.

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Comments 2

  1. Thanks for this podcast, I find this topic weighing heavy on my heart in the acute care setting. I haven’t been using an assessment and after listening to this podcast I checked out the Geriatric Depression Scale. However, after reading the 15 questions and thinking about how my patients would likely respond, I felt that these questions may depress them even more. I guess I’m curious to hear if practitioners are having success using this assessment, and what other assessments/screeners are being used for the older adult population. Also, what is the follow-up post use of the GDS to further address depression? Thanks for all of your insight, maybe a topic for another podcast:)

    1. Post

      Great question, Trish. I typically don’t pull out the assessment right away. I listen to them and ask how they are feeling, look for signs physically (if you are in a setting where you sort of know them – which I see you are not 🙂 and will actually ask if they are feeling depressed. If they say “yes” or “i don’t know” or a hesitant, “no.” I will say that “I have some questions that I would like to ask you that will help see if there are areas that you are having a hard time coping with and if you do, I want to make sure I am getting you the help you need. Are you ok with that?” This way, I have built a little rapport with them and have eased them into the conversation vs springing a depression scale on them and asking them (putting them in control) if it is ok if I ask them questions.

      It is strictly a screen, not a substitute for a diagnostic interview by a mental health professionals, so I typically refer to the social worker and/or their MD of my findings. There is research to support GDS use over time to monitor depression symptoms and there is a Short Form as well.

      I would be interested in seeing what others are utilizing for a depression assessment in physical disability settings as well – this is just the one I use, has been around for a long time and has good validity.

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