Many residents of nursing homes or rehabilitating people experience adjustment difficulties leading to increased depression, anxiety and/or behavioral issues.  A minimum of 50% of nursing home residents typically exhibit some symptoms of depression, but this percentage can be as high as 80%.  Depression can increase medical care time and is associated with increases in suicidality and mortality, compared to residents without depression.


Benefits to the patient

Studies have shown that psychotherapy and counseling are usually equally effective to medication in treating depression, and these methods can have more lasting effects than medication alone.  As a best practice, Southwest Cares clinicians often recommend psychotherapy in conjunction with psychotropic medications. 


Benefits to the facility

Use of Southwest Cares’ services benefits facilities’ staff since:

  • Critical and reportable incidents are often preventable with treatment.

  • Residents can be easier to treat; psychologically treated residents can reduce staff burden of care, frustration, and burnout – all while improving residents’ quality of life.

  • Dementia-related problem behaviors can be reduced or better controlled; residents may develop more effective communication approaches that enhance caregiving.

  • The combination of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication can help achieve dosage reductions and F329-compliance.

  • Southwest Cares’ clinicians offer educational in-service training to facility staff upon request.


Symptoms that could indicate need for care:

  • Depression: sadness, isolation, social withdrawal, tearfulness, weight gain or loss, too much sleep, too little sleep, refusal of care (may include food, drinks), refusal of treatment, irritability, fatigue, anger, loss of pleasure, loss of mental focus, loss of motivation

  • Anxiety: nervousness, obsessive thinking, panic attacks, shortness of breath, palpitations, sweating, chills, nausea, fears, trembling, shaking, excessive worrying, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, fatigue

  • Adjustment difficulties: with anxiety and/or depressed mood

  • When dementia is present, many people may still benefit from treatment. 

119 East Marcy St. Suite 202 Santa Fe, NM 87501 • ph: (505) 982-3113 • fax: (505) 982-2462 •