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New space for Parkview Behavioral Health patients

Friday, December 28, 2012 - 12:01 am

Starting Jan. 1, Parkview Behavioral Health will give geriatric and/or psychiatric patients a new location for their hospital stays.

Parkview BridgeWays is a new, 20-bed unit on the third floor of Parkview Hospital's Randallia campus. The new site will offer many of the same amenities as the old site but will only serve geriatric patients.

The program is designed to deal with each patient's individual needs, whether they be medical, nutritional and mental health. Patients can stay anywhere from 12-14 days. Charles Clark, the senior vice president of operations, said with the acute healthcare facilities available at the new site, Parkview BridgeWays will be able to take patients with more medical complications then could be handled at Parkview Behavioral Health, 1720 Beacon St.

Last year, Parkview Behavioral Health handled 4,600 patients, 20 percent of whom were geriatric patients. Patients with dementia will be cared for, as well as those suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses that make a hospital stay necessary.

Clark said they are trying to make the setting less institutional. There will be art and music therapy, and there will be an area where family members can stay overnight, though all of the doorways will needs badges in order to be accessed so patients can't wander out.

Besides the 20 patient rooms, there will be a lounge for relaxation and a sensory lounge. The sensory lounge is a controlled, multi-sensory environment designed to calm, relax, stimulate and empower the patient. It was designed in Sweden; Turnstone of Northeast Indiana was the first in the area to create one for their clients.

The one at BridgeWays will have many sensory options to soothe patients. Recliners will have the ability to massage, for example, or a projector will give the illusion of falling snow. Aroma therapy will be another option, among others.

Sally Boyce, director of nursing for the new unit, said the lobby area will have an oven where the staff will bake fresh bread and cookies to stimulate the patient's senses and help them remember their home life.

The former Ronald McDonald house will be used for family counseling, which can be helpful when a family member is coming to terms with a loved one's condition.