Medical advances have allowed people to live longer. But aging can be accompanied by many challenges, including decreased physical and mental capabilities, the loss of loved ones, and end-of-life issues. Often, seniors do not seek the care they need due to a perceived stigma associated with treatment or the cost and insurance hassles. At Pavilion, we work to overcome these barriers.
Reduced independence causes significant shifts in the lives of seniors. A sudden or prolonged change in behavior or mood may indicate the presence of or be a precursor to mental illness. Often, highly specialized care designed specifically to address geriatric psychological issues may be required. The Pavilion at Williamsburg Place is ideally suited to provide this type and level of older adult psychiatric care.
A temporary detention order was initially in place for an 84-year-old female who was suffering from a mixed dementia type with behavioral disturbances (including mood and psychosis). Her main complaint was that her neighbor was harassing her. Over time, her paranoia began to take over, and she was convinced that her neighbor was listening and talking to her through her walls. As her agitation continued to rise, her behavior became more sporadic and threatening. Her complaints and threats became problematic to the point where her apartment complex was seriously contemplating not renewing her lease. Upon evaluation by the Community Service Board, she was deemed to lack the capacity to make safe and appropriate decisions for herself, resulting in an acute hospitalization stay to provide mood stabilization, medication management, and nursing care. After quick stabilizing and reducing her symptoms of mixed dementia, she was discharged back home after a 9-day inpatient hospital stay.
The Williamsburg Place campus offers a 22-bed inpatient facility designed to treat the behavioral health needs of older adults. Treatment is based on the principles of Milieu Therapy, a form of psychotherapy that makes use of therapeutic groups or communities. Typically, patients will join a group and be encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and the others within the group. Milieu Therapy at The Pavilion provides a safe, supportive, and secure group environment in which older adults can receive comprehensive psychiatric care and return to a stable level of functioning. Each individual is assessed by a team of professionals lead by a psychiatrist to determine if they meet the medically necessary criteria for inpatient-level care.
Our Geriatric Program is designed specifically for adults ages 55 and over. Presenting symptoms may include behavioral disturbances, severe depression with suicidal thoughts, anxiety, hallucinations, and delusions. Common admission diagnoses include dementia, depression, anxiety, mood and behavior changes, and even substance abuse. Medical specialists may be consulted to manage underlying physical illnesses that may be contributing to behavioral, emotional, and cognitive instability.
As the aging process progresses, it is often necessary for patients to adjust to a “new normal.” They need to learn how to deal with new difficulties and adjust to the limitations that may be imposed by their declining health. A comprehensive discharge plan is designed to ensure that each individual has access to the required services and support. When possible, we strive to help our patients to return to their regular lives and “age in place.” When their condition does not allow this, we work to facilitate placement in a setting that will maintain their safety and optimal level of functioning. This can include an independent living community or an assisted-living facility.