Program Director: Alicia Cowlthorp, RN
Email: Alicia Cowlthorp
For many older adults, declining physical and mental capabilities and complicated medical problems coupled with loss and adjustment in lifestyle can be overwhelming. Geropsychiatry is a specialized area of medicine that focuses on the unique physical and emotional needs of the senior adult.
Senior Behavioral Health Services at Willamette Valley Medical Center is a geropsychiatric service dedicated to meet the specific treatment of patients 60 years of age and older. We provide expert, in-patient treatment for specific problems related to the aging brain and body.
Reasons for inpatient hospitalization may be multiple and varied with each individual patient. Factors may include:
- Attempts or threats of suicide
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Confusion, disorientation, memory changes
- Inability to care for self or home
- Abrupt changes in behavior
- Isolation and withdrawal from friends and family
- Inability to concentrate, sudden decrease in intellectual functioning
- Seeing or hearing things that no one else sees or hears
- Impaired understanding of reality
- Difficulty with impulse control
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Uncharacteristic anger, irritability or agitation
- Extended and extreme grief over a loss
Who will provide my care?
The decision to place a loved one in geropsychiatric care is always difficult. Our health care team understands that difficulty, and we encourage family involvement in patient care. We provide caring, supportive psychiatric care in a safe and secure environment. Our treatment programs are designed to meet each individuals unique needs.
Treatment includes group therapy, medication management, activities, family education and support to help patients improve their social, physical and emotional functioning.
The treatment team includes:
Care is directed by a psychiatrist, a physician who specializes in management of mental and behavioral symptoms. Patients can expect to see the psychiatrist daily.
Specialty trained registered nurses (RNs) partner with certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to provide care and ensure that treatment occurs in a safe and therapeutic environment. Nurses manage medications and assess patients for any side effects. They also help patients better understand their illness and medications.
Social workers provide group counseling and emotional support. The social worker has primary responsibility for discharge planning and assists patients and family in making decisions regarding discharge and after care plans.
Occupational therapists provide assessment and a variety of therapeutic activities including reminiscence activities, cognitive stimulation, coping strategies, leisure education and exercise.
If you have a patient or loved one who you believe would benefit from this type of intensive care, or you would like more information on our services, please call our intake coordinator at 503-435-4544
Senior Behavioral Health Resources
Helpful Phone Numbers:
Call 211 for social services/resources in your community
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Crisis Line- 1-800-273-8255 option 1
Meet our Medical Director: Philip Anderson, M.D.
Dr. Anderson is a Board Certified General Psychiatrist with 23 years experience in clinical psychiatry in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Prior to joining the Senior Behavioral Health Unit at Willamette Valley Medical Center, he was a staff psychiatrist at St. Charles Medical Group in Bend, Oregon seeing both adult and geriatric patients. “Although psychiatry is challenging, helping my patients to live the greatest life they can, gives me ultimate satisfaction and is extremely rewarding.”
Internship and Residency: Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee
Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
Undergraduate: University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon BS with honors