Senior Behavioral Health is a Peninsula program. Peninsula, a division of Parkwest Medical Center, has set a new standard for effective, innovative and caring psychiatric services in East Tennessee. With a combined total of more than 75 years of experience, Peninsula organizations have helped thousands of people recover from disorders and dependencies, and lead healthy, positive and productive lives.

Senior Behavioral Health

Senior Behavioral Health at Parkwest Medical Center provides an advanced level of care for adults ages 55 and older with a wide range of psychiatric and medical issues. This is a short term psychiatric treatment program and is not intended address primarily placement issues for individuals. Individuals should be medically stable at time of admission. The focus of care is to address psychiatric or mental health crisis and cognitive evaluation needs. To make a referral call the Peninsula Admissions/Registration department at (865)373-8187.

Signs and symptoms of mental disturbance in the elderly?

  • Agitation
  • Calling Out or Screaming
  • Combative Behavior
  • Changes in Eating/Sleeping Patterns
  • Confusion
  • Crying
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Failing Memory
  • Irritability/Verbal Abuse
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia, Hallucinations and/or Delusions
  • Wandering


The 16-bed unit is designed to accommodate various patient needs. The unit features a common area equipped with a piano, television, games, and sitting area to provide patients with a comfortable environment.

Caring, Qualified Staff

Senior Behavioral Health’s staff members utilize a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Staff members are trained to evaluate and treat patients with psychiatric problems and/or dementia. They are also qualified to offer medical care or intervention for patients with physical ailments. Senior Behavioral Health has a variety of staff to assist with the coordination of care for your family member, including:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Medical Doctors
  • A Dedicated Unit Manager
  • Registered Nurses
  • Discharge Planner/Case Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Certified Nursing Assistants / Patient Care Associates / Student Nurse Associates
  • Health Unit Coordinators

Program Components

  • Cognitive Testing
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Discharge Planning
  • 24-hour Nursing Care
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Medical Monitoring
  • Medication Assessment and Adjustment
  • Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies
  • Nutritional Assessment
  • Fall Risk Assessment and Prevention
  • Pain Assessment and Management
  • Multidisciplinary Group Therapy Sessions
  • Pet Therapy

Level of Care Recommendations

Senior Behavioral Health will assess and recommend the level of post-hospital care that the patient may need. We will assist family and other professionals with assisted living or nursing home resources, however placement in a facility cannot be guaranteed by day of discharge.

Referral and Admission Process

Referrals must be made by a physician. Admissions are voluntary or by the consent of a person who has been legally appointed as Healthcare Power of Attorney/Healthcare Agent, Conservator, or HealthCare Appointed Surrogate for the patient being admitted.

All referrals and intakes are done through Peninsula Hospital, a division of Parkwest Medical Center. To make a referral or to get more information, please call (865)373-8187. If you would like to speak to a staff member of the Senior Behavioral Health unit, please call the nurses station at (865)373-1745.

Admitting Physicians

Any psychiatrist with privileges at Parkwest can admit a patient to the unit. Any medical staff member of Parkwest can consult a psychiatrist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is the average length of stay? In general, the average length of stay varies from seven to ten (7-10) days. This allows time for medical and psychological testing, as well as medication adjustments.
  • How do I get information and updates about my family member? We ask that each patient have one designated primary point of contact for our staff. This person must be legally appointed as Healthcare Power of Attorney/Healthcare Agent, Conservator or HealthCare Appointed Surrogate, and give the correct PIN (Personal Identification Number). The main contact person can then provide patient information to extended family members and friends.
  • When is the best time to call for information and updates about my loved one? The best time to obtain information about your loved one is between 1p.m. and 7 p.m. However, outside of those hours, messages may be left for staff at any time and return calls will be made as soon as staff are available. Suggested visiting hours are between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily to ensure therapeutic measures are met during the patient’s stay.
  • What should my family member bring when they come? Personal belongings are very restricted. We ask that the patient only bring items that are medically necessary such as: dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, c-pap/bi-pap machine, and one outfit to wear on the day of discharge. All other items, such as clothing and hygiene supplies will be provided for your loved one. We will do our best to ensure the safety of personal belongings brought for your loved one, however, ultimately the hospital is not responsible for lost or missing, broken or damaged items.
  • Are children allowed to visit? Children 16 and under are not permitted on the unit. Children cannot be left unaccompanied while in the hospital. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times while on the unit.