Patient Information
Child & Adolescent
College Mental Health Program


Understanding Sensory Stimulation

Pet Therapy offered in Program

Alzheimers Warning Signs

Maureen Malin, MD, Medical Director
Lesley Adkison, MSN, RN, Nurse Director

The Geriatric Psychiatry Unit is a short-term, inpatient unit for the evaluation and treatment of adults, usually 60 or older, with disorders of cognitive functioning, mood or reality testing that are often accompanied by medical disorders. The unit treats a range of psychiatric conditions in the elderly and has special expertise in treating Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The medical, nursing, and other staff of the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit are experts in evaluating patients with mild to severe dementia and in separating those behavioral and emotional problems that are dementia-related from those that are due to other causes that may require specific treatment interventions. The Geriatric Psychiatry Unit uses an intensive multidisciplinary approach that integrates behavioral interventions, therapeutic milieu, psychopharmacology and other somatic approaches to stabilize patients rapidly and implement treatment plans that maximize cognitive and emotional functioning in patients and thus enhance their quality of life.

The Geriatric Neuropsychiatry Unit is part of the McLean Geriatric Psychiatry Program, which provides integrated inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital services to older men and women. It is located on the grounds of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

Admissions Info (pdf)

Patient Testimonials

Admission Criteria

To be eligible for admission, patients must need evaluation or treatment for behavioral problems (e.g., physically or verbally aggressive behavior, agitation, wandering, depression or anxiety) related to dementia. Regardless of the cause of their dementia or their specific behavioral symptoms, patients must require an inpatient level of psychiatric care.


Patients receive comprehensive evaluations aimed at diagnosing their disorder and assessing their emotional, behavioral and cognitive abilities. These evaluations lead to treatment plans that can be implemented both on the unit and, when appropriate, at aftercare facilities. Thorough psychosocial evaluations, neuropsychological testing, review of medications, medical history and current physical conditions, and other diagnostic procedures are provided as needed.

Geriatric Care

Treatment options are equally broad. These include individual and group therapy, psychopharmacology, occupational therapy and behavioral interventions. The GNU staff works closely with patients' families and referrers to assure that gains made during hospitalization are maintained after discharge. The staff provides families with education, support and help in determining the most appropriate next steps, including recommendations of community-based services when appropriate. The staff also consults with referrers while patients are on the unit and provides concrete treatment recommendations to implement after discharge.

Professional Staff

A multidisciplinary team of geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, social workers, nurses and occupational therapists treats each patient. Team members have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating dementia in the elderly. In addition, McLean neurologists and internists regularly consult to the primary treatment teams. Other medical or rehabilitation consultations are obtained as necessary, both within the hospital and through outside facilities.


McLean Hospital accepts Blue Cross, Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and a wide array of other insurance plans. The specific details for each plan vary. Hospital staff can help referrers and patients' families with questions about insurance coverage.

Information and Referral

For further information, call the McLean Hospital Geriatric Psychiatry Program at (617) 855-3183. To arrange an inpatient admission, call the McLean Information and Referral Service at (800) 333-0338, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About the McLean Geriatric Psychiatry Program

The McLean Geriatric Psychiatry Program is the oldest and largest service in New England dedicated exclusively to meeting the mental health needs of the elderly. Its multidisciplinary treatment teams provide comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and follow-up on a wide range of psychiatric disorders.