March 27, 2008 - Marietta Memorial Adds Geriatric Psychiatric Unit

(Marietta, OH, March 27, 2008) - Marietta Memorial Hospital recently expanded its behavioral health services with the renovation of its psychiatric unit. The program specializes in psychiatric treatment for the elderly, as well as providing medical treatment for psychiatric patients. The renovation provides an area focused on the particular needs of the patients, including increased staffing for individualized patient care.

According to Dr. Todd Hawkins the new Medical Director for Geriatric Services, “Patients with both psychiatric and coexisting medical problems can be better cared for in this environment in addition to having all the resources of the hospital.”

Offering a specialized approach to the needs of the elderly, MMH’s Geri-psych program combines medical, psychiatric and geriatric expertise. The interdisciplinary team includes physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, recreation therapists, counselors and social workers. Patients receive individualized nursing care, individual and group therapy, medication management, family educational meetings and other services.

“Elderly patients have challenges due to the losses that may occur with aging,” said Hawkins. “This can include loss of memory, physical health, and independence as well as loss of loved ones. Our experienced geriatric team supports individuals and families who deal with the challenges often faced by elderly patients.”

Comprehensive nursing services are provided to all patients. Individual needs are assessed and identified problems are incorporated into a treatment plan, which would generally include medication management, physical and occupational therapy, family education, talk therapy and pastoral care if requested. Activity therapy focusing on social interaction and a productive and meaningful use of time are essential components of patient care.

By 2030, America’s elderly population is expected to reach well over 70 million. Healthcare providers like MMH are finding ways to address the increased need for geriatric care. “As our nation ages, the need for geriatric specialists and programs will grow,” Hawkins said. In addition, “our unit allows the older patients to remain active and mobile, where traditionally they would have been hospitalized on a medical floor, confined to bed and received only a psychiatric consultation with suggestions for care of geriatric mental health issues”.

The unit is able to accept referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and include both geriatric and acute care adult services. For more information call (740) 374-1501.

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Memorial Health System
401 Matthew Street, Marietta, OH 45750
(740) 374-1400
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