GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY PROGRAM
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Fact Sheet (pdf)
Jim Ellison, MD, MPH, Clinical Director
Cindy Ruscitti, MS, RN, Nurse Director
Lesley Adkison, MSN, Nurse Director
For more than 20 years, the McLean Geriatric Program has provided comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for individuals, ages 50 and older, who are experiencing emotional, cognitive or behavioral symptoms. Symptoms may include memory loss, mood disturbances, anxiety, difficulty coping with losses and transitions or behavioral conditions that interfere with care at home or in a long-term setting. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and maximize a person’s quality of life.
Physical illnesses, medications and the psychological and social stresses of aging can complicate diagnosis and treatment of late-life psychiatric difficulties. The program’s multidisciplinary approach draws upon a full range of treatment methods and techniques, including psychiatric assessment, neuropsychological and psychological evaluations, internal medicine and neurological consultations, psychosocial assessment and laboratory testing, including state-of-the-art brain imaging. Based on comprehensive evaluations, treatment plans may include individual and group psychotherapy, rehabilitative services, pharmacotherapy and/or electroconvulsive therapy.
Inpatient services comprise two units: the Older Adult Unit and the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit.
The Older Adult Unit is a short-stay program for individuals age 50 and older who require inpatient level of care for acute changes in mood, anxiety, reality testing or behavior. Following a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment, the staff members of the Older Adult Unit provide individualized treatment that may include medications, attention to medical issues, group psychotherapy and a therapeutic milieu.
The Geriatric Psychiatry Unit provides short-term comprehensive evaluation and treatment for individuals with varied disturbances of mood, thought and cognition, with a special track for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Along with cognitive changes, many individuals experience depression, anxiety or behavioral disturbances, such as agitation.
Both units provide neuropsychological, psychological, neurological and medical consultation, as well as psychopharmacologic care or electroconvulsive therapy. Located on the grounds of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, both units provide individualized and integrated inpatient and outpatient services to older men and women. For further information, please call 800.333.0338.
Outpatient services are comprised of three distinct programs: Seniors Aging Gracefully Everyday (SAGE) is an enhanced outpatient program for older adults with major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, paranoid disorders and psychotic disorders. A typical day at SAGE includes psychotherapy group and individual counseling as well as other group and individual meetings. Patients meet frequently with the psychiatrist to discuss medication. Please call 617.855.2327.
The Outpatient Clinic provides full evaluation and treatment to older adults with mood disturbances or other psychiatric conditions, who do not require hospitalization. Diagnostic evaluation, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are available to help patients cope with problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse or difficulty with managing losses and transitions.
The Memory Diagnostic Clinic specializes in the evaluation, treatment and follow-up of outpatients who have mild to moderate memory impairments. During two to three half-day sessions, patients receive thorough psychiatric, neuropsychological, psychosocial and neurological evaluations. Diagnostic and treatment recommendations are discussed with the patient, care providers and family members as appropriate. Please call 617.855.2300.
All psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, internists, social workers, occupational therapists and nurses on the Geriatric Program’s multidisciplinary teams are specifically trained to diagnose and treat older patients. Staff members have chosen geriatrics as their specialty and pride themselves on providing compassionate, efficient and caring treatment.
Medicare covers most treatment costs. Other insurance, including Massachusetts Medicaid, is accepted. Supplemental insurance may cover remaining costs. Hospital staff can assist patients and their families in determining coverage.
About McLean Hospital
U.S. News & World Report named McLean America's #1 Hospital for Psychiatry in 2013 . McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric facility of Harvard Medical School, an affiliate of the Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare. For more information about McLean visit us on www.facebook.com/ McLeanHospital or follow the hospital on Twitter@McLeanHospital.