The Ottumwa Courier


November 27, 2013

Early intervention focus for new senior care center

OTTUMWA — The idea behind Ottumwa Regional Health Center’s new care center follows one of the basic tenets of modern medicine: early intervention provides better results.

The Senior Behavioral Care Center is scheduled to open next May. Construction is visible now, though it will be a while before CEO Phil Noel is prepared to unveil the addition. It does raise a very fundamental question, though.

What is a senior behavioral care center?

“The unit being developed treats patients generally 55 years of age or older. It’s basically for when you begin to see changes to behavior or activities they’re involved in,” Noel said.

People change as they age. That’s a given. But some changes can be signs of underlying concerns that go beyond normal aches, pains or the occasional “senior moment.” When that’s the case, therapies have the best chance of helping improve a person’s quality of life when they start early.

That in itself can be a challenge. The people most likely to see early changes, family and friends, are also those most likely to write off a lapse out of concern for the senior’s feelings. But there’s a big difference between forgetting where you put the car keys and forgetting where you live, or cutting back on high-impact exercise and cutting off interactions with people.

The center will bring together experts in both physical and mental care for seniors. Noel said the hospital is working on hiring those positions now. Once they’re in place, public education will be a focus.

What Noel sees the center addressing are sudden changes in behavior in cases where a senior’s work suddenly suffers or personal care lapses for no readily identifiable cause.

“If you start to see changes in those, it may be something your health care provider should know,” he said. “That’s where the education to providers and the community comes in.”

The center will initially have 14 beds. Noel thinks that will be adequate, but expansion is possible if it proves to be needed. It will be located on the third floor of the hospital’s west wing.

Text Only
  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Composting ethical pic Recycling in a garden OTTUMWA --- Parents will tell you: They hate to see kids waste food. A gardner named Scott Koepke feels the same way. “First, let’s get our food to people who are going to eat it,” he said. “It hurts me to see kids in the schools throw away an entire

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0412 OTT Pothole color photo -T -M [Duplicate] A bumper crop of potholes OTTUMWA — The nice weather has been putting the bad roads on display. Officials say good: It gives us a chance to fix them. “Every city is going through the same thing,” said Larry Seals, Ottumwa Public Works director. “It has been an unusual winter

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home in a tent OTTUMWA -- As people live without shelter, they become desperate finding a place to sleep. The situation impacts more than just the community's homeless. "There is nowhere to put people who are homeless," said Mary Margaret Butler. "Nowhere." Ottumwa

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Martha Speaks color photo -T -M Ottumwa children visited by cartoon star OTTUMWA — Iowa Public Television is celebrating its 45-year anniversary this year by helping communities like Ottumwa educate young children before they get into a school setting. One of the programs they are using to help reach out to children is by

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • United Way expanding on Corporate Community Garden OTTUMWA — The United Way of Wapello County created its Corporate Community Garden last year as a way to donate locally grown food to community members in need, and after a successful first year, it's hoping to expand the garden’s impact in its second

    April 11, 2014

  • City Council to discuss several property sales OTTUMWA -- The Ottumwa City Council will meet Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall for its second and final regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included on the agenda for the evening, among various other items, are several public hearings on t

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers wanted for playground construction OTTUMWA — Wildwood Park in Ottumwa is going to be the recipient of some rather significant playground upgrades in the near future, but in order for the construction of the new equipment to be free for taxpayers, there has to be enough volunteer power

    April 10, 2014

AP National