Levels of Care for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

woman suffering from an eating disorder

Eating disorders are mostly quite complex and differ from one individual to the next. One well-known thing about them is that they do not discriminate a person’s age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Eating disorders are not just dangerous medical conditions; they are life-threatening. They not only affect the overall quality of a patient’s life but also lower their immunity, leaving their body exposed to severe medical conditions. It is nonetheless challenging for you to benefit from treatment if you do not know what to expect and how to choose.

An eating disorder treatment plan in Westport, for instance, has different levels of care (LOCs). Eating disorder treatment involves several specialists, including doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, among others for rounded healing. It is, thus, easier to group your treatment plan into different LOCs instead of according to the specialists you will see. The following are tidbits on the available levels of care for those battling eating disorders:

Outpatient Care

This is the least-intensive LOC. It is ideal for patients who are medically stable and have exceptional motivation and home-based support to overcome their disorder. You will often have weekly sessions with the specialists on your care team. Outpatient care is commonly used for patients who live near the treatment centers, are self-sufficient in weight gaining, and have weight percentages of more than 85% of their healthy weight. Intensive outpatient care is reserved for those whose weight is 80 to 85% of their healthy weight. The care features a daily meal, therapy group sessions, and behavioral and weight monitoring.

Partial Hospitalization

Although named partial hospitalization, the ideal name for this LOC is day treatment. In most cases, partial hospitalization includes six to 10 hours of daily therapy for five to seven days. This is meant for medically stable patients who often need some level of external structure to prevent purging, weight loss, and excessive exercise. These patients can manage their behavior for a short time or live with people who can provide some support for them.

Residential Care

This takes place in a setting that provides 24-hour supervision and accommodation. In residential care, you will get medical stabilization, 24-hour support, nutritional rehabilitation, and intensive therapy. Family therapy sessions are also typical in residential care for treating eating disorders. Although medically stable, patients in residential care have less than 80% of their ideal body weight and fair or poor motivation for therapy. Moreover, most lack family support for their treatment.

Inpatient Care

inpatient care

This is the most intensive LOC for eating disorders. It is meant for those with unstable blood pressures, significant weight loss, and high suicidal tendencies. Most patients in inpatient care also need tube feeding and have poor motivation for weight gain and co-existing psychiatric issues. The patient often lacks family support for treatment and has uncontrollable, frequent, and severe purging episodes.

Most treatment centers will offer all the above LOCs. If you notice any signs of an eating disorder in you or your loved one, the first step is contacting a treatment center. The experts there will help you assess what LOC applies for your case and tailor your treatment to meet your needs.

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