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Release Date: 07/22/2019
Life transitions can be hard. This is especially true for older adults, moving into retirement and beyond, who may be experiencing loss, changes in health and other challenges. Often times, these changes may lead to elevated anxiety, depression, uncertainty, or other changes in mood and level of fulfillment.

Butler Hospital offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), for adults ages 65 years and older, who may be struggling with life’s transitions. This IOP program empowers older adults to learn how to navigate and cope with these changes in healthy ways, improve overall mental health, gain support from peers, and develop personal goals, in a supportive environment, as they move into their next stage of life.  

The program applies the principals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and provides group therapy and education, opportunities for peer interactions, and individual counseling. With the support and guidance of our specialty team, participants will have the opportunity to regain the balance and confidence to get life back on track in the company of older adults with similar goals.  

One patient, Rob Mariani, 79, of Bristol, looked forward to the program each week, calling it a relaxing and welcome environment, where he enjoyed meeting new people. He went on to say, “For me, it filled a social need; I enjoyed making new friends who were going through the same transitions I was. I enjoyed hearing many different perspectives. As we age, we lose friends, end our careers, and go into retirement. Your life changes, but that doesn’t change who you are. This program showed me some interesting ways to continue navigating the aging process.”  

The program, which is currently accepting new patients, runs Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The treatment period is typically three to four weeks, and involves working with a compassionate, multidisciplinary team to determine the appropriate length of time for the best outcome.  

The format of this program has been created to accommodate maintaining day-to-day activities while learning the necessary skills to manage emotional struggles and lifestyle changes. It is not an appropriate environment for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, however those with typical cognitive decline associated with aging will manage well within the program. To learn more information about the program, please visit our website at butler.org/programs/outpatient/intensive-outpatient-for-older-adults.cfm, or contact Sheila Russell, director of Partial Hospital and Intensive Outpatient services, at 455-6672 or sarussell@Butler.org.

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About Butler Hospital

Butler Hospital, a member of Care New England, is the only private, nonprofit psychiatric and substance abuse hospital serving adults, seniors and adolescents in Rhode Island and southeastern New England. Founded in 1844, it was the first hospital in Rhode Island and has earned a reputation as the leading provider of innovative psychiatric treatments in the region. The Major Affiliated Teaching Hospital for Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Butler is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in conducting cutting-edge research.

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