St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Opens Geriatric Psychiatry Unit
Article by Wendy Hoke, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
One in five American adults has experienced a mental health issue. One in 20 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. When a loved one is suffering from depression, dementia, anxiety, bipolar or other mental illnesses, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center offers comprehensive, holistic care that is designed to help patients get back to achieving stability in their lives.
The opening of a 16-bed dedicated geriatric psychiatry unit and addition of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a treatment expands the service that includes psychiatric emergency department, addiction services and experienced licensed staff. “St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has long been a leader in the care of those with mental illness,” said David F. Perse, MD, President and CEO. “These additional services will round out our offerings for those adults on any end of the behavioral health spectrum.”
St. Vincent Charity has cared for older adult patients (age 55 and over) on a unit that is combined with younger adults. However, the needs of those populations are distinct, according to Dr. Boris Royak, medical director of Geriatric Psychiatry. “A large number of patients in this new unit will have some dementia, but they may also have underlying medical conditions,” said Dr. Royak. “Having a dedicated unit provides a safe level of care for those patients with a greater burden of medical conditions.”
Like other populations, older adults can experience co-occurring psychiatric and medical illnesses. Studies have found that approximately 15 percent of older adults living in community have symptoms of depression with higher rates occurring in medical settings. Treatment of persons 65 and older constitutes a special population as defined by Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services.Mental health care for older adults must be accessible, culturally appropriate and integrated within a system of comprehensive and integrated health services.
This $1.5 million expansion, $1 million of which was funded through donors, addresses a recognized community need for additional behavioral health service capacity. It expands the total number of behavioral health beds (including chemical dependency) to 99. The new unit allows St. Vincent Charity to focus on service offerings, including medical, nursing, social work, recreations and occupational therapy to help older patients improve their level of function.
If you would like more information, are interested in admittance, or have questions call the unit any time day or night at (205) 838-6799.
To read the full article from St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, click here.