Geriatric Psychiatric

We all hope our family members will enjoy “the golden years.” But, as individuals age, they experience the loss of loved ones, and the stress that goes with losing physical and mental abilities. A changing lifestyle and increased physical challenges can lead to sadness and withdrawal. However, persistent personality changes or unusual behavior may indicate your loved one is suffering from a mental illness, such as depression.

Signs and symptoms that a loved one may be experiencing an emotional illness include:

  • Insomnia or too much sleep
  • Crying spells
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Disregard for personal appearance
  • Sad or blank look on face
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • Social isolation

These symptoms are not normal at any age and should be considered an illness in the elderly.

Most depression and other emotional illnesses in older people are treatable, especially if dealt with early. In addition to improving a senior’s outlook on life, therapy also helps individuals to better care for themselves and follow their primary care provider’s directions, particularly about taking medicines.

South Shore Hospital Geriatric Psychiatric Unit is here to let you know that you are not alone in caring for your elderly parent or loved one. We help you understand what’s going on and determine the best course of care.

Experienced Doctors

Complete primary care services, from routine check-ups and preventive care at five affiliated neighborhood clinics and affiliated physicians.

Friendly Staff

Excellent and personable physicians, nurses, and professional staff. Transportation Services for seniors and disabled patients at affiliated clinics and the hospital.

How We Can Help

At the South Shore Hospital Geriatric Psychiatric Unit we offer individualized care in a warm, supportive atmosphere. The first thing our professional team will do is a very thorough evaluation to help determine what’s causing the behavioral and mental changes. We also check for any underlying medical or biochemical origins. We will then work with the patient, family and other health professionals to develop a course of treatment.

Treatment includes individual meetings with psychiatrists; group therapy with other seniors struggling with similar problems, and educational programs. Our nurses, psychiatrists, trained counselors and social workers can help with all aspects of a person’s life.

Our Special Services

To ensure excellent access and care, we offer:

  • Free confidential initial consultation to help determine the appropriate level of care.
  • Follow-up care to ensure that the improvements made are long-lasting.
  • Management of a patient’s secondary medical needs.

“The staff at South Shore Hospital Geriatric Unit will help you see things more clearly and that you have choices and something to live for.”

You Are Not Alone

Depression and other emotional illnesses are a significant problem for older adults.

  • National statistics show that one out of four older adults suffer from serious emotional difficulties related to aging.
  • Depressed older adults have the highest risk of suicide in our society.
  • Nineteen million people will suffer from depression at one time in their lives. 0f these, eighty to ninety percent can be effectively treated.

Family Plays an Important Role

When one person in the family suffers from a mental or emotional illness, everyone else in the family is affected. Admission to a psychiatric treatment center is understandably traumatic, and can be especially so for an elderly person. Stress and strains in relationships are intensified. We understand this and encourage family members to express their feelings and learn new ways to cope with the frustrations. We encourage them to participate in their loved one’s treatment process. Our family support groups help to re-establish healthy communication channels that will lead to stronger family ties and happier lives.

We Have the Level of Care You Need

Inpatient Hospitalization involves conducting a thorough physical and mental evaluation, analyzing any medication interactions, and developing and implementing a treatment plan. This is done in a supportive environment with 24-hour nursing care to help ensure the well being of the patient.


Admissions are accepted 24 hours a day. Referrals may be made by physicians, psychologists, social service agencies, family members or friends. The decision regarding admission is made by a psychiatrist.

Going Home

The patient and family work with the treatment team to develop an appropriate aftercare plan. Aftercare may include a community-based program or outpatient therapy. Our goal is to help maintain the progress that has already been made while in the hospital.

How to Contact Us

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call the Geriatric Psychiatric Unit of South Shore Hospital at 773-356-5425. Our staff is available 24 hours a day. All information is completely confidential.


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