ERIC Number: ED297218
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Mental Health of the Rural Elderly Outreach Program: A Unique Health Care Delivery System.
Buckwalter, Kathleen C.; And Others
This article describes a unique health care delivery system, the Mental Health of the Rural Elderly Outreach Program. The project in designed to identify and provide mental health services to an underserved population, the rural elderly, who are suffering from severe and disabling mental illness. Delivery of mental health services to the rural elderly is described as a statewide priority in Iowa, with the need for such services enhanced by the current farm crisis. The project described relies on the cooperation and support of both public and private entities and integrates a variety of health, mental health, and human service agencies in the planning and delivery of services to elderly persons with mental illness, as well as appropriate referrals for those in need of medical and social services. Five referral sources are identified and described: (1) psychosocial screening at local sites, such as congregate meals; (2) referrals through the county case management team and its associated agencies; (3) training of nontraditional referrals sources, known as Gatekeepers, such as rural mail carriers, to locate and refer high-risk elderly; (4) mental health outreach specialists who serve as liaisons between the elderly outreach program and elderly service agencies; and (5) contact with discharge planning departments of mental health and health care institutions. Assessment, treatment, referral process, and preliminary outcomes are discussed. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society on Aging (34th, San Diego, CA, March 18-22, 1988).