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Geriatric Psychiatry Program

Comprehensive and compassionate care for older adults with mental illness

This eight-minute video introduces the staff of the geriatric psychiatry units at United and Unity hospitals in St. Paul and Fridley, Minnesota. It explains how they can work with each patient's family to care for mental health and physical problems at the same time, in the same place.

Read video transcript.

With the increase in our senior population comes the need to better understand how aging affects mental health. As one grows older, conditions like dementia, depression and stroke can disturb the ability to function or cope. As they struggle to comfort their loved one, family members often feel helpless.

Geriatric psychiatry units

The Geriatric Psychiatry Program of Allina Health Mental Health involves families as their loved ones are cared for in these safe settings:

geriatricy psychiatry nurse places a comforting hand on the should of a patient as they walk down the hall of the unit

United Hospital

333 North Smith Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102
Maps and directions

Call 651-241-8860 for assessment, referral or more information.

Unity Hospital

550 Osborne Road, Fridley, MN 55432
Maps and directions

Call 763-236-4464 for assessment, referral or more information.

Patient criteria and referral

We accept patients who...

  • are 65 years and older (Exceptions for those under 65 are made on a case-by-case basis.)
  • may threaten the safety of themselves, others or property
  • have talked about or tried committing suicide
  • behave in a way that interferes with their caregivers' ability to care for them
  • have symptoms that are hard to diagnose or treat in a doctor's office or other outpatient setting
  • say they do not want help, even though their health and safety may be in danger.

Anyone may refer someone to the Geriatric Psychiatry Program. Patients may be admitted upon acceptance by the attending physician.

Geriatric psychiatry care team

Our care team members are qualified to meet the special needs of each patient and family.

  • Physicians who specialize in geriatric psychiatry and geriatric medicine lead each hospital's program.
  • Nurses have special training and experience to meet each patient's unique needs.
  • Occupational and recreational therapists provide therapeutic group activities so that patients can have positive social interaction and spend less time alone.
  • Other specialists may provide physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietary and nutrition consultation, and spiritual support.
  • A social worker/case manager works with the patient and family members to coordinate the transition back home or to another setting.