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Ontario Shores Announces New Geriatric Transitional Unit

GTU Open House
Published Date

(Whitby, ON) February 5, 2018 – Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) has officially opened a new 20-bed inpatient unit that will provide specialized services for older adults with dementia, presenting with complex behaviours, who are currently in an acute care hospital and require specialized mental health care treatment to support their return to the community. 

The Geriatric Transitional Unit (GTU) will help the local health system to respond to capacity pressures experienced in acute care hospitals when patients with challenging behaviours no longer require acute care but are not able to transition to an alternate setting such as a long-term care home.

The GTU will provide assessment, stabilization, treatment and management of dementia-related behaviours with the goal of timely community reintegration so that patients can successfully transition to long-term care or the referring organization.

“With an aging population, the demand for specialized geriatric mental health care is on the rise.  This new unit will be a valuable resource for our communities so individuals with complex dementia symptoms have access to the treatment and supports they need to effectively manage their illness,” says Karim Mamdani, President and CEO, Ontario Shores.

This unit was made possible through funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN).

“Our acute care hospitals work hard to respond to the ever-increasing population growth and rising numbers of seniors in our LHIN. With the support of the Ministry, the Central East LHIN is working with all our stakeholders to develop and implement new service delivery models that will transform the health care system and improve the patient experience” says Michael Nettleton, Central East LHIN board member.   

The unit will have an interprofessional care team consisting of registered nurses, registered practical nurses, recreational therapist, social worker, occupational therapist, psychiatrist and behavioural therapists.  Ontario Shores will create 35 new full-time and part-time positions to staff the unit and recruitment will begin immediately.

“Ontario Shores looks forward to working in collaboration with patients, families, and healthcare providers at hospitals and long-term care homes to ensure these individuals receive the best care possible while at Ontario Shores and are supported as they transition back to their original setting,” adds Mamdani.  

At the opening MPPs Joe Dickson (Ajax-Pickering) and Durham MPP Granville Anderson shared their support for seniors mental health.

“Supporting such a vulnerable geriatric population has always been a priority of mine and for our government.  Having this specialized unit at Ontario Shores provides the right care in the right setting to maximize the recovery process in comfort and with compassion,” says Joe Dickson, MPP Ajax-Pickering.

“This new unit will ensure that seniors who need specialized care will have access to assessments and treatments that meet their specific needs. By transitioning patients to the Geriatric Transitional Care Unit, we create efficiencies and reduce wait times at acute care hospitals,” adds Granville Anderson, MPP Durham.



About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a range of specialized assessments and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, build on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system.


For more information, please contact:

Andrea Marshall
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 6581
Cell: 905-439-0224


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