Posted 08/22/2017

Aiming to meet the needs of older adults needed assistance with behavioral health needs, many which have accompanying medical conditions, Murray-Calloway County Hospital has created a new Geriatric Behavioral Health Program.

The 12-bed unit will provide comprehensive medical and psychiatric treatment in a secure environment, soothing colors and features such as a “quiet zone” and a therapeutic recreation room for music therapy, and more.  

Psychiatric disorders affect a large number of seniors – one in five, according to the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry. Along with depression and other common conditions, their diagnoses include problems related to progressive physical decline and medical issues.

The unit will admit patients whose primary diagnosis is psychiatric, such as anxiety; agitation or significant behavioral disturbances; depression; sudden onset of memory impairment and/or confusion; sleeping and eating disturbances; unrealistic fears; withdrawal; hearing or seeing things not present, or bizarre thoughts. These problems may be accompanied by medical conditions that require coordinated care.

The unit will be led by medical director Dr. Michael McGhee, a board-certified psychiatrist, program director Melanie Parham, a registered nurse manager, and specialists in psychiatry to include a master’s level social worker, and a multidisciplinary team of professionals.

Patients in the unit can receive psychiatric and medical evaluation and management, specialist consultations, medication adjustments, activity therapy, nutritional consultations, individual and group therapy, patient and family education, and support and after-care planning assistance at discharge.

The typical length of stay is 12 to 14 days, and patients must be 55 years or older to be considered for admission.

For more information about the Geriatric Behavioral Health Program, call (270)762-1227 or visit