The Evergreen Programme is a group-based programme designed to provide for the needs of service users aged 65 years and older at St Patrick's Mental Health Services (SPMHS).
The title Evergreen means strength over adversity and refers to the programme's aim to actively engage and support older adults in their journey of recovery and wellbeing.
What does the Evergreen Programme involve?
What does the Evergreen Programme involve?
The Evergreen Programme provides for the different needs of older adults and those who care for them, exploring many key themes including:
- Growing older and changing patterns of activity
- Social relationships and maintaining friendships
- Caring for others, caring for self
- Maintaining mental wellbeing
- Safety at home and in the community
- Understanding and managing medications
- Community mobility and transportation
- Making the most of your memory
- Maintaining physical wellbeing
Who delivers the Evergreen Programme?
The Evergreen Programme is delivered by all members of the Mental Health of Older Adults Team and is designed to meet the different needs of older adults living with mental health difficulties or who have risk of relapse. This includes psychiatry, occupational therapy, social work, psychology, nursing, pharmacy and .
The programme is also supported by a number of activities and volunteer staff who provide opportunities for engagement in many different activities including arts and crafts, pet therapy, computers and exercise.
How do I access the Evergreen Programme?
Access to the programme is by referral only through your multidisciplinary team (MDT). Following referral to the Evergreen Programme, the coordinator will meet with you to provide further information relating to the content of the programme and how it may address your individual needs. You will be provided with an induction pack which includes a ‘group timetable’ and other relevant information.
How long will I attend the Evergreen Programme?
The Evergreen Programme takes place over a period of four weeks. However, depending on each person's individual needs, this time period may be shortened or extended as required.
What groups are involved in the Evergreen Programme?
The work of groups aims to empower and support older adults living with mental health difficulties in their journey of recovery and wellbeing.
The following information provides a brief overview of the work of the various groups:
Psychiatry – doctors’ wellness discussions
The doctors’ wellness discussion groups focus on health topics that directly relate to older adults, paying particular attention to quality of life as a key marker of how you view your health status.
The groups discuss many issues ranging from physical illness (focusing on prevention and taking personal responsibility for your own health), key emotional needs and improved psychological wellbeing in later life.
The life stages and developmental challenges that accompany later life are continually addressed during this group discussion. The group also discuss ways for you to overcome personal obstacles or setbacks in your environment so that you can be prepared for these challenges and expect what may happen in later years.
Occupational therapy – creating a wellness lifestyle
The occupational therapy group focuses on empowering older adults to make positive lifestyle changes. Through this group, you will get support to change how you approach daily activities and routines to improve your functionality, health and wellbeing.
Group sessions provide an overview of topics that relate to older adults including maintaining a balanced and satisfying lifestyle, completing regular daily tasks, taking care of yourself and others, and being able to take part in and enjoy hobbies. The group will also discuss safety at home and in the community, and being able to travel when you need to.
Social work – changes and transitions
The social work group explores changes to your role (particularly after retirement) and changes associated with the ageing process. This group also looks at the importance of building and keeping a strong support network in later years.
Group sessions provide an overview of topics including losses in later life, understanding grief, building strength to deal with losses and changes, and steps towards creating a strong support system. Occasionally, other topics such as elder abuse and community services/supports will be reviewed.
Pharmacy – safe use of medications
The pharmacy group covers a range of topics including common psychiatric drug treatments, how ageing can affect drug treatments, as well as general information about all medicines. Ways to improve medication awareness and monitoring are explored and advice is given on how to deal with common drug side-effects.
Nursing – activity group
The nursing group explores a broad range of topics that relate to maintaining the mental and physical wellbeing of older adults. Group sessions explore sleep hygiene, maintaining safety, preventing falls, taking medication correctly and setting positive goals.
Psychology - mind matters
The psychology group focuses on exploring changes to your memory and your ability to understand ideas as part of the normal ageing process. Ways to make the most of mental abilities in later life are explored.
There are many activity and volunteer groups held as part of the programme, where you can get involved in various activities including pet therapy, exercise and computers.
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