Care Management Plans for Patients With Behavioral Health Disorders

Substance Abuse

Opiate dependency; opiates are often prescribed for pain management in mid-age to older adults.

Mid-age to older adults are at a higher risk for dangerous alcohol and medication interactions. The combination of alcohol and benzodiazepines, opiates/pain medications, sleeping pills are particularly unsafe.

Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of drugs or intensify side effects. These side effects may include dizziness, lack of coordination, cognitive impairment, falls, car accidents.

Older adults use more prescription drugs; polypharmacy (more than 5 drugs) is common as we age and the risk of adverse reactions increases.

One in three hospital treatment admissions of older adults are associated with emergency room admissions.

Mental Health Care Management
Mental Health Care Management

Mood Disorders

Often mid-age to older adults have learned to cope with a mood disorder with alcohol or other mood-altering substance.

Recognizing Mood Symptoms As We Age:
Due to our expertise in treating mid-age to older adults, we realize mood symptoms may look and present differently than in a younger person. Specifically, symptoms of sadness are not as common in those over 65. However, similar symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, decreased interest in hobbies, and social contact are discernable. In addition, cognitive symptoms must not be overlooked.

These Include Difficulty With:

  • Lack of attention
  • Multitasking
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision making
  • Initiative

Cognitive Disorders

  • An impairment in the thought process
  • A decreased reasoning ability
  • Inability to identify social cues
  • Poor attention and focus

Cognitive symptoms in mood disorders are likely related to a decrease in the functioning of the frontal lobes of the brain.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which helps to uncover and change negative thoughts or points of view that are causing and prolonging stress and anxiety is a useful therapeutic tool.

Often, assessments include a neuropsychological exam.

Mental Health Care Management
Mental Health Care Management


Often, mid-age to older adults present trauma-like symptoms in the form of physical problems or pain issues. They often do not identify their symptoms from an emotional platform.

The risk of cognitive impairment and dementia is significantly increased with a long-term history of PTSD. This may interfere with the client’s ability to identify and communicate symptoms.

Often, substance abuse and trauma are interconnected. Clients have learned to cope with the anxiety of the trauma by using substances. Prescribed by professionals that lack training in the identification of these symptoms. In addition, other process addictions may surface in clients to alleviate trauma symptoms. These can include: Food, Spending, Gambling, Workaholism and Pornography.