Linda MacLeod has a message for anyone about to be admitted to the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit (GPU) at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).
“You are lucky if you become a patient here,” she says with certainty. “The staff are kind, supportive and dedicated.”
GPU is a 25-bed inpatient unit that provides specialized services to meet the complex mental health needs of seniors with serious mental illness. The interprofessional healthcare team provides a range of psychogeriatric resources to address the assessment, diagnostic, treatment and transitional care needs of seniors with complex mental health challenges.
Linda, a mother of two adult children, lives with schizoaffective disorder (bipolar type), which is identified by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania. Bipolar type can include episodes of mania and sometimes major depression.
Linda, who has required treatment at various points in her life, greatly values her experience at Ontario Shores as both inpatient and outpatient.
“It’s been wonderful,” says Linda, a 75-year-old resident of Uxbridge. “Everyone is friendly and caring. They want you to get better.”
Linda was recently discharged back to her Uxbridge home. She will receive care as a geriatric outpatient and will continue to see Dr.Robyn Waxman, her psychiatrist.
“I am so grateful to know Dr. Waxman,” she says. “She cares about all of her patients. She’s so supportive and understanding of everyone’s situation. I’m glad I am able to still see her.”
Now back at home, Linda says she feels her experience on GPU has prepared her for success in the community.
“I feel ready to be at home,” she says. “They gave me some mindfulness work to do and other tools to help me stay healthy. I miss the staff and the patients, but I am ready to be at home.”