Integrated Care for Older Adults in Rural Areas


As described in the Institute of Medicine Report The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce For Older Adults: In Whose Hands?, the behavioral health needs of older adults are complex, and the workforce is inadequate to meet the need. The workforce faces a number of issues, including a lack of specialized training and challenges retaining and recruiting providers. In particular, rural areas face workforce shortages. Integrated behavioral health and primary care presents an opportunity to leverage the primary care workforce to address behavioral health needs in rural areas, as discussed in the article “Integrated Care for Older Adults in Rural Communities.” Older adults in rural communities face many challenges seeking care, but new innovations may help strengthen rural healthcare for older adults. For example, learn more about the work of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Bedford Memorial Hospital under the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.