Senior Behavioral Health Unit
Wahiawa General Hospital
128 Lehua Street , Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786-2036
Wahiawa General Hospital
“Never Out of Touch”
Senior Behavioral Health Unit
In May 2000, Wahiawa General Hospital opened the Senior Behavioral Health Unit, a unique program that offers short-term inpatient treatment for seniors who are suffering from acute emotional and psychological problems. The goal of the program is to restore the overall quality of daily life for the patient and caregiver.
An individualized plan of care is developed for each patient, with continuous input from an interdisciplinary team, which includes assessments from Psychiatry, Medicine, Nursing, Social Services, Occupational Therapy and Nutrition.
An admission to the program is normally preceded by a referral, followed by an evaluation by a member of the Senior Behavioral Health team. Referral sources may include physicians, healthcare providers, nursing homes, and clergy.
Description of Organization
- 10 bed inpatient acute Geriatric Psychiatric/ Medicine unit which offers treatment for seniors who are suffering from acute emotional and psychological problems that impair their lives.
- Services include diagnostic evaluation, medical consultations, pharmacological treatment, milieu therapy, and psychotherapy (individual, family and group).
- Goal is to restore the overall quality of life for the individual and caregiver. To aid in this process, an individualized treatment plan is developed with patient’s participation and input.
- Eligibility criteria are based on age and psychiatric acuity. Age criteria is 60 years and older, with some flexibility.
- Referrals are accepted from everywhere and include physicians, healthcare providers, nursing homes, families, etc.
- Collaboration is done with any agencies who work with older adults. Discharge patients return to Nursing Homes, Foster Homes, Care Homes or back to family.
- Our unit has 10 beds and serves between 15-20 a month.
- At times we do have a wait list. Admissions are based on triage and acuteness for admission to unit. Sometimes a patient can be admitted within a day, but may wait as long as a few weeks.
Older Adults (60+ years) & Mental Health
- All patients on the Behavioral Health Unit have mental health issues and concerns.
- More than 50% have Serious Psychotic Mental Health Issues, or neurological impairment.
- Less than 10% have substance abuse problems.
- Less than 20% speak English as a second language.
- The Senior Behavioral Health Unit is located on the second floor within Wahiawa General Hospital.
- Physician Staff includes: Medical Director, Dr. Michael Komeya, M.D., Geriatric & Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Elena Sharipova, M.D., Geriatric & Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Anne O'Connell, M.D., Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Baron Wong, M.D., Medical Geriatric Consultant.
- WGH provides training for staff. Upon need for other agencies, the staff at times provides caregiver training to assist with the discharge needs of patients.
Available resources to assist with improving the geriatric mental health care system
- Trainings: Caregiver Training, offered on an as needed basis.
- Expertise on geriatric psychiatry
- Over the past six years, the Senior Behavioral Health Unit continues to be the only one of its kind in the State of Hawaii. The unit has treated over five hundred seniors who suffer from emotional problems due to various reasons.
- The Senior Behavioral Health Unit at Wahiawa General Hospital has helped serve our community needs of the elderly patients who exhibit acute signs of depression, psychosis, anxiety and behavioral disturbances due to dementia.
- The Behavioral Health Unit is available Monday through Saturday’s from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm to provide initial consultations and assessments in order to evaluate and recommend the best course of action.
- Our treatment milieu is provided in a non intrusive, warm and caring atmosphere. The goal is to provide medical & psychological treatment to help the individual resolve identified problems and progress more to the highest possible quality of life and well being. To aid in this process, the patient participates in developing their individualized treatment plan. Referral sources are encouraged to participate in treatment planning and the overall continuity of care for each patient. The aftercare planning process encourages family, caregiver and/or referral sources involvement as well.
- The care of patients is under the direction of a Psychiatrist who specializes in Geriatrics.
- Treatment orders are carried out with the help of experienced and caring healthcare professionals.
- The individualized treatment plan is reviewed and updated on a daily basis, by the professional team, and the interdisciplinary team meets weekly to discuss and update any changes or barriers that have been identified.
- Physician Staff includes: Medical Staff Director, Dr. Michael Komeya, M.D., Geriatric & Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Elena Sharipova, M.D., Geriatric & Adult Phychiatrist, Dr. Anne O'Connell, M.D., Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Baron Wong, M.D., Medical Geriatric Consultant.
Consultations & Assessments
- Consultations & assessments are confidential and available free of charge.
- Please call Margaret Bridenstine, R.N., Community Liasion Director at 621-1310 or 621-9254 to set up an appointment for assessments.
- All Admissions are coordinated by Margaret Bridenstine, R.N., CLD.
- All admissions to Wahiawa General Hospital Senior Behavioral Health Unit are voluntary. Each patient is required to sign a consent form at the time of admission.
- All patients admitted to our senior behavioral health unit need to have a discharge plan in place prior to admission.
Our Senior Behavioral Health Unit may be what you need. Call us for a free consultation & assessment.
For further information, or to make a referral, please contact the Community Admissions Director, Margaret Bridenstine, R.N., C.L.D.