Tiney Ray, Ph.D., DNP, FNP-BC

Acute cardiac events, such as heart failure, affect over 2 million individuals in the United States each year, with over half of these individuals being over the age of 65. Annually, cardiac events cause these adults to receive post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities for short-term healing, assistance and rehabilitation. However, older patients are often challenged with a difficult road to recovery due to co-occurring medical conditions, frailty and impaired mobility.

In skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation is a team effort and does not start and stop with the rehabilitation department. Diagnosing any emotional disturbances is critical for rehabilitation to be effective in heart disease residents. In fact, there is evidence to support the impact of psychological factors on the onset of cardiovascular disease. Depression and anxiety can be unexpected complications after a cardiac event and are often underdiagnosed, leaving residents with reduced quality of life and increased mortality risk. As a result, MediTelecare is ensuring its partnering facilities have the tools and resources in place to assist their cardiac residents.

As their behavioral health partner, below are some of the ways we’re helping our facilities with depression screenings for cardiac residents:

  • MediTelecare nurse practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists are offering therapies to improve the overall health and quality of life of residents to reduce rehospitalizations.
  • MediTelecare providers may recommend certain psychotropic medications in combination with various psychotherapies including weekly talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. These techniques can assist residents with learning coping skills and lifestyle modifications.

Recognizing and treating depression in cardiac residents admitted to skilled nursing facilities for rehabilitation is a major priority. This responsibility is shared between the facility staff, the family and the resident with MediTelecare here to assist. With increased awareness of the prevalence of cardiac depression, cardiac residents have every advantage for a complete recovery in the days and months following a major cardiac event.

Tiney Ray, Ph.D., DNP, FNP-BC, is medication manager of MediTelecare. For more information on the importance of depression screenings for your facility’s cardiac residents, contact Bernadette Greatorex at [email protected].