This month, Unity Psychiatric Care at Martin completed a major renovation that added a second wing of patient rooms and expanded group gathering areas to accommodate more therapeutic and recreational activities. Now, the 16-bed psychiatric hospital, which specializes in treating older adults who need short-term care due to a mental health crisis or dementia-related behaviors, provides private rooms with attached bathrooms to every patient. Prior to the expansion, most rooms were shared by two patients.
“This new layout and décor improve the patient experience and ensure a safe and therapeutic environment,” said Carrie Brawley, administrator at the hospital. “The added rooms also help our clinicians safely treat someone with a contagious condition, like COVID-19 or flu, without exposing other patients to infection.”
In planning the renovation, the clinical team considered all aspects of patient care and comfort, as well as international best practices in elder care, dementia management and psychiatric treatment. Brawley explained that patients now have more control over their environment. When they need quiet time, they can retreat to their private bedroom or to new spaces set up to promote relaxation. If they are feeling social, they can interact with others in one of the new community spaces. The project doubled the amount of common area available for art and music therapy, dining and social activities.
“We have always provided a very person-centered approach to care, but these renovations help us be even more responsive to the unique needs of our elder population,” Brawley said.
For example, patient rooms are equipped with low beds and glowing toilet bowls, which help patients function independently and safely when they are able to do so. Barriers like locked doors, which can trigger anxiety in patients, are now decorated with bright murals so they blend into the decor.
Artwork throughout the facility was chosen to make the environment feel less institutional, Brawley added. Paintings reflecting rural and small-town life stimulate familiar memories for patients and create feelings of security and well-being. This calming décor also extends into the new women’s shower room to offer a spa-like atmosphere, while the men’s showers feature a rustic 1950s-style ambiance.
Other additions include a new serenity room, a relaxation room equipped with LED lighting, weighted blankets, and aromatherapy, and a theater room with a 75-inch flat screen TV and selection of movie-time treats like popcorn, drinks, and candy.
The extra square footage also will enable the hospital to grow its internship program, Brawley said. She is currently working with four regional institutions to recruit student interns pursuing degrees in social work, nursing, psychology and other disciplines.
“Internship programs are a win-win for our patients and our community,” Brawley said. “Young people in our area benefit from the opportunity to apply their education and gain real-world experience. Our patients also benefit from the students’ energy and creative ideas.”
Those who would like to see photos of Unity Psychiatric Care’s recent expansion of its Martin facility can take a virtual tour at the hospital’s website: UnityPsych.com.
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About Unity Psychiatric Care in Martin
Unity Psychiatric Care is a 16-bed psychiatric hospital that specializes in short-term care for adults ages 55 and older who are experiencing a mental health crisis or behavioral disturbances, including those related to dementia. All rooms are private and admissions are accepted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unity Psychiatric Care accepts Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. The Martin facility is one of five psychiatric hospitals operated by Franklin, Tennessee-based American Health Partners. For more information, visit UnityPsych.com or call (615) 902-5200.