senior services

Inpatient Psychiatric Services

The senior behavioral mental health program at Adventist Health Vallejo offers inpatient treatment for older adults who, due to a mental condition, are at immediate risk for harm to self, harm to others or unable to care for their own health and safety. This condition may have been triggered by a life transition such as losing a loved one, a change in health status, or a loss of independence or identity.

These life changes can cause depression and anxiety and can cause people to withdraw socially or from favorite activities. Our program is also appropriate for seniors who suffer from long-term psychiatric illnesses — such as major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and related disorders — and are having difficulty managing their symptoms.

Types of patients

Our patients must be 55 years or older to participate in the senior program. Some patients have not had any prior mental health problems. Some symptoms can be a result of factors related to the aging process and/or an inability to cope rationally. These factors may include side effects of medications, changes in brain functioning or the effects of a physical disease or medical condition.

Patients 55 years of age or older are treated for a variety of emotional/behavioral disorders.

The most prominent admitting diagnoses are:

  • Mood disorders such as depression and depression with suicidal ideation or attempt
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Psychosis

Additional factors that may contribute or lead to mental health issues include:

  • Unresolved grief
  • Social isolation
  • Decline in physical health
  • Financial worries
  • Loss of independence
  • Fears regarding future losses

Treatments we offer

While mental illness can affect anyone in various ways, some health concerns can appear in seniors that may not be as common among younger people.

Most common conditions treated include:

  • Depression with suicidal ideation or attempt: Individuals in extreme depression experience physical and emotional symptoms that may include overwhelming sadness, negative thinking, feeling hopeless and/or helpless, change in appetite or sleep patterns, weight loss, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and an inability to cope with daily activities. When outpatient treatment is no longer effective, depression can be life-threatening in an older person who may then become a candidate for inpatient treatment.
  • Anxiety: This is an extreme form of worry that can lead patients to have uncontrollable fears that keep them from living a fulfilling life. Many patients with anxiety experience panic attacks, which may feel to them like a heart attack.
  • Psychosis: A person in this state has thoughts and beliefs that are out of touch with reality. An example is paranoia, which is the feeling that someone or something is out to harm you. People in this state may also experience hallucinations. They think they see or hear things that are not there or that are present but are being misinterpreted.
  • Gravely disabled: In this condition a person, as a result of a mental disorder, is unable to provide for their basic needs for food, clothing or shelter. This puts them in danger of serious physical harm in terms of daily safety and health. This could be a person who refuses to eat or drink water or someone unable to do simple tasks such as showering or taking needed medicine.

A warm and caring team

Our team is headed by a staff psychiatrist and includes a nurse practitioner, specialized nurses, licensed therapists and occupational therapists. Our professionals get to know each person to assure individual needs are met. Each participant meets daily with our psychiatrist and professional staff for evaluation, treatment planning, attends group programs, individual counseling, discharge planning, and family intervention and education.

How the program works

The program offers therapy, education and support through a variety of approaches, including:

  • Psychiatric evaluation and monitoring daily by a psychiatrist
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), including individual and group sessions
  • Family counseling, to help caregivers manage the emotional challenges of caring for a loved one
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques
  • 24-hour behavioral health monitoring and supervision
  • Behavioral health diagnostic assessment and evaluation
  • Medication stabilization and management
  • Music, art and pet therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Individual and group patient and family education
  • Discharge and aftercare planning

Admission criteria

  • Age 55 or older
  • DSM-5 Diagnosis(es) as primary diagnosis
  • Psychiatric symptoms (like hallucinations, delusions, depression and mania) resulting in significant dysfunction and interference with activities of daily living
  • Danger to self or others destructive behaviors self/property
  • Disorientation or memory impairment severe enough to endanger the welfare of self or others (gravely disabled)
  • Failed outpatient treatment
  • Requires medical psychiatric monitoring for toxic effects of therapeutic psychotropic medications
  • The severity of the patient’s illness requires continuous observation to protect self, others, and/or property and could only be achieved in an inpatient psychiatric facility

To learn more or refer a patient, call (707) 649-4925.