The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton have nine full-time geriatric psychiatrists and three part-time geriatric psychiatrists on staff to serve approximately 230,000 seniors needing care for mental illness living in their own homes or within the more than 50 LTCHs across LHIN 4 and 6. We moved into our new home base, the brand new state of the art West 5th campus of St. Joseph’s Health Care in February 2014. The new facilities include integrated ambulatory, outreach and inpatient services, and a dedicated research and education pod with access to conference facilities. The clinical area consists of a beautiful clinic space with facilities for group and exercise activities, and two new inpatient units (36 beds). This exciting initiative incorporates many architectural features aimed at improving the quality of life for seniors and their caregivers. The clinical services in Hamilton are well integrated with our outreach teams in the Niagara, Brant and Halton regions. New initiatives include a plan to expand the ECT service to include a dedicated seniors service, an expansion of our treatment options to include memory intervention programs for both normal aging and for cognitively impaired seniors across our regional programs, and to establish a training program for clinical staff on cognitive rehabilitation techniques in order to enhance skills of clinicians and increase the sustainability of such programs. Our regional programs serve as leaders promoting and enabling the provincial BSO initiatives across the care continuum.
The academic division has been active in educational initiatives. The documents to accredit a RCPS subspecialty training program in geriatric psychiatry have been submitted to the college and we hope to have our first trainee in the next academic year. We continue to provide core rotations for the eight psychiatry residents per year, geriatric medicine fellows and a large number of core and elective clinical clerks. We have implemented an annual Continuing Education Day in Geriatric Mental Health in our new conference centre. The research activities within the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry have focused on providing self-management supports for individuals with dementia, examining the process of culture change within long-term care homes and community settings, enhancing palliative care in long-term care homes, and enhancing mental health services for home care clients. Dr. Carrie McAiney is currently a co-principal investigator on a $1M Community University Research Alliance study funded through SSHRC as well as a CIHR-funded study, and serves as a co-investigator on a number of other studies funded by CIHR, the MOHLTC and SSHRC. Members of the Division as well as the broader clinical service are involved in supervising undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of research and quality improvement projects.
Karen Saperson, MBChB, FRCPC
Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Education
Academic Head Division of Geriatric Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University