The Senior Treatment Program at Butler Hospital
Butler Hospital will be opening a new, state-of-the-art Senior Treatment Program later this spring. The program works with older people and their families who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, other memory disorders including vascular dementia, and related behavioral problems. As the area’s only private adult, adolescent and child psychiatric treatment hospital, Butler is uniquely equipped to help people struggling with the emotional and behavioral impact of memory problems.
Q & A
What sort of patients do you see in the geriatric psychiatric area?
Primarily, we provide short-term, crisis intervention, manage medications, and help families or referring nursing homes develop a plan of action. Our patients have cognitive disorders with complicating behavioral problems and their care provider – daughter, son, spouse or nursing home – can’t manage the their behaviors. Typical diagnoses are depression, dementia or classic psychosis like schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. For some patients, these problems are related to some type of dementia late in life. For others, they have had the disorder their whole lives and after 40 years, the medicine isn’t working as well as it once did.
Does the clinical staff have special training?
Yes. Louis J. Marino, Jr., MD, and Roseann Netzer, RN, MS, CS,run the program.
Dr. Marino is Chief of the Senior Treatment Program at Butler Hospital. He is a board certified geriatric psychiatrist and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown Medical School. President of the Rhode Island Psychiatric Society, he has spoken widely on the topic of aging, memory disorders and related behavioral problems and has consulted to the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C.
Roseann Netzer is Director of Geriatric Services at Butler Hospital. She has over 20 years of experience working with the elderly, and has been involved in the development of 13 different senior treatment programs around the country. She has provided care in a variety of treatment settings and has been a psychiatric consultant to individuals and organizations involved in the care of the elderly.
Their nursing employees are very experienced in treating all kinds of geriatric conditions. They work with more than 400 patients a year who are dealing with serious memory and/or behavioral problems. The treatment professionals are constantly in training and regularly evaluate the care they provide and ways of making improvements. Most importantly, they are very caring and committed to working with this population. Supervision is constant and ongoing. There is a full-time person whose job is to solely look for ways to offer new and better care.
What is unique about psychiatry in a geriatric setting?
We offer the most holistic approach to memory disorders. You can’t treat emotional and physical issues separately. For instance, you have to think about how someone’s diminished vision impacts their ability to walk, which impacts their sense of independence, which impacts their mental state and aggravates their depression.
Can you help with conflict resolution?
Yes. We can teach conflict resolution skills. Lots of people, especially women, have lived their whole lives without ever really developing conflict resolution skills. They may avoid confrontation or yell, scream and bully. This can come to a head when an elderly person either enters a group living setting or their family “burns out.” Learning these skills, even late in life, can make a huge difference.
What is the Senior Program environment like?
It is open and clean with colors and an interior that is bright and distinctive. There is a beautiful mural depicting a cranberry bog in the summer, with a stream heading towards a beach under a bright, blue sky. A local artist dedicated to producing quality art in public places designed it. There is a large fish tank that adds to the pleasant surroundings. There are places for visitors to meet with patients and the dining area is located next to a wall of glass that lets in large amounts of natural light.
The Memory Disorders Clinic at Butler Hospital
The Memory Disorders Clinic provides multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment to patients with known or suspected memory and other cognitive problems. The treatment staff includes neurologists, neuropsychologists, geriatric psychiatrists, and nurses.
The clinic is involved in clinical trials of new medications for memory loss and behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, and mild cognitive impairment due to aging. The clinic directors are leading an international team of researchers developing new treatments for Vascular Dementia, memory problems related to stroke. There are also support groups for caregivers of people affected by these problems. Butler is an important center for research and truly world-renowned professionals in the field.
Memory Clinic Professionals
Stephen Salloway, MD, MS, is Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic and Director of Neurology at Butler Hospital. He is associate professor of clinical neurosciences and psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School. His practice is dedicated to the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders and he is deeply involved in national and international research to develop new treatments for vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Paul F. Malloy, PhD, is Co-Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic, Assistant Clinical Director, and Director of Psychology at Butler Hospital. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at Brown Medical School. He is recognized nationally for his contributions to the field of memory disorders, and his written and lectured extensively on such topics as early Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, neurobehavioral and neuroimaging analysis, everyday memory and everyday functioning in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, and functional impairment in Alzheimer’s disease.