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SJHH / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Mental Health Services/ Seniors Mental Health Service

Seniors Mental Health Service

What this program does...

The St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Seniors Mental Health Service is a regional leader in the provision of evidence informed care and service to seniors with severe mental illness and the families, caregivers and providers who support them. 

Our service provides care for older adults with:

  • Dementia ( e.g. Alzheimer Disease) with associated behavioural complications/responsive behaviour with or without concurrent mental illness

Note: Older persons with dementia can be prone to decompensation or change often due to multiple (physical, intellectual, emotional, functional, environmental and social areas), interdependent causes

  • Severe mental illness ( e.g. depression, mania, anxiety, psychosis, progressive cognitive disorder etc.) that develops in late life

Note: Symptoms in the older person can often be misinterpreted as consequences of normal aging and such late life disorders can result in significant decline and problems in physical, functional, behavioural, social and psychological well-being

  • Chronic, severe mental illness ( e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc) who develop age-related complications

Note: Symptoms due to chronic severe mental illness may be inappropriately identified as due to aging, or vice versa

  • Complex physical problems who have developed associated mental illness in late life

Note: There can be an insidious onset and mental health symptoms can be falsely identified as due to the complex physical health illness, or vice versa

  • Late onset alcohol, substance abuse or other addiction issues which can be associated with losses in old age and/or mental health problems.

How this program helps...

We provide specialized service to seniors with complex mental health, dementia, addiction and/or behavioural complications in our Seniors Mental Health Inpatient Behavioural Program or in the regional communities we serve (e.g. Brant, Hamilton, Niagara, Halton and North West Mississauga).  We see community-based seniors in a clinic or office-setting, or in their own home (e.g. house or apartment, retirement home, supportive housing, Long Term Care Home etc.).

Your Care Team

Dr. Peter Bieling, Program Director
pbieling@stjoes.ca

Dr. Maxine Lewis, Clinical Head of Service
lewism@stjoes.ca

Dr. Karen Saperson, Academic Head, McMaster University, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry 
saperson@mcmaster.ca

Shelley Wright, Inpatient Manager
Telephone 905-522-1155 ext. 36727
swright@stjoes.ca

Julia Baxter, Community Outpatient and Outreach Programs Manager
Telephone 905-681-8233 ext. 226
jbaxter@stjoes.ca

Dr. Carrie Mc Ainey, Director Program Evaluation and Research
mcaineyc@mcmaster.ca