Vancouver Island Older Adult Mental Health and Addiction Service

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Vancouver Island Health Authority
Memorial Pavilion, Royal Jubilee Hospital
1952 Bay St., Victoria
Phone: (250) 370-8514

Royal Jubilee Hospital




Program Description:

This is a fully integrated program offering a complete range of programs and services for older adults with mental health and addiction problems. The programs are as follows:

  • EOS – Community outreach based service for older adults with mental health problems who cannot access office-based assessment and treatment.
  • VISTA – Community outreach based service for older adults with addictions issues. It is based on leading programs such as COPA in Toronto that provide a model of excellence in targeting this challenging population.
  • Transition Team – provides quick response to assess and stabilize problems in the community in order to prevent admission, and also provides short-term support to patients recently discharged from acute care
  • Geriatric Outpatient Clinic – assessment and treatment of a wide range of older adult mental health problems, with team backup through the clinic nurse and access to other programs within the system. Closer links are now being established with the adjacent geriatric medicine clinic.
  • Consultation Service – assessment of patients on acute medical/surgical units and the ER at Royal Jubilee Hospital
  • Integrated Health Network – the SARIN (Seniors at Risk Integrated Network) is an exciting new program that collaborates with a network of GPs, and links with other geriatric medicine programs. There is a geriatric psychiatrist and an older adult mental health clinician attached to this program.
  • Residential Care Program – geriatric psychiatry assessment and treatment to all residential care facilities in Greater Victoria, with backup from EOS/VISTA and the Transition Team
  • Home and Community Care Liaison Program – this program is building towards increasing the capacity of HCC programs to manage complex patients in the community. Monthly liaison meetings are held at the Health Units, with ongoing collaborative patient care.
  • Acute Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Program – two inpatient units located at the Memorial Pavilion at Royal Jubilee Hospital. The 11 bed Watson unit admits patients with severe dementia complicated by BPSD. The 30 bed Kenning unit admits a range of problems including moderate dementia with BPSD, late-onset mental disorders, chronic persistent mental disorders with age-related complications, and older adults with addictions issues.
  • Tertiary Program – the acute inpatient program is linked to an Island-wide tertiary program with residential facilities in Victoria, Ladysmith, and Campbell River. Sandringham Care Centre is a 46-bed unit near the Royal Jubilee Hospital with a mixture of tertiary rehabilitation and tertiary residential beds. A Geriatric psychiatrist provides weekly coverage and works closely with the team.

Patient Description:

The goal of an integrated program is to manage patients through the continuum of illness. About 50% of patients have dementia with BPSD, 30-40% with mood disorders, and 10-20% with psychotic and other disorders. Generally the model is to assess and continue following many of these patients in collaboration with the family physician, and other health care providers and programs.

Clinical and Academic Learning Opportunities:

The South Island OAMHAS will provide an excellent opportunity for learners to understand the continuum of services required to support older adults with mental health and addiction problems. The catchment area for Greater Victoria is neatly defined, and provides an ideal learning situation to understand the connections between population health, demographics, and service provision. All members of the Division are enthusiastic teachers. Weekly outpatient team rounds are used to review complex cases. The inpatient unit has developed a biopsychosocial model of care that also provides an excellent learning experience. All clinical settings are multidisciplinary. Supervision is available from the 5 geriatric psychiatrists based at Royal Jubilee Hospital, and the psychiatrist based at Sandringham. Up-Island opportunities are also available with Dr Lonn Myronuk in Nanaimo and Dr Stefan Schovanek in Comox.