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.

In addition to inpatient and outpatient programs, Peninsula offers services to support successful recoveries by patients and their families. Aftercare services, crisis intervention and employment skills development help people maintain healthy lifestyles and improve their quality of life. Our goal is to help the individual achieve and maintain a higher level of functional independence at home, school, work, and leisure.

Because we are a community-owned, not-for-profit organization, Peninsula’s primary concern is the well-being of our patients and our community.

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. To make a referral call the Peninsula Admissions/Registration department at (865)373-8187.

“We see patients suffering from dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and other related illnesses.”

David Seale, MD


The 16-bed unit is designed for comfort, with two private rooms and seven semi-private rooms in order to accomodate various patient needs.  The unit also features a dining and recreational room 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 are trained to evaluate and treat patients with psychiatric problems and/or dementia and 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
  • 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

Facility Placement

Senior Behavioral Health will assess and recommend the level of post-hospital care that the patient requires and will assist family and other professionals with assisted living or nursing home placement.

Referral and Admission Process

Admissions are voluntary or by the consent of a person who has been legally appointed as Healthcare Power of Attorney/Healthcare Agent, Conservator, Responsible Party or Next of Kin 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, Responsible Party or Next of Kin. The main contact person can then provide patient information to extended family members and friends.

The best time to obtain information about your loved one is between 11 a.m. and 6 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.

What should my family member bring when they come?

Because of the nature of the unit, personal belongings are very restricted. We ask that the patient only bring items 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. Please check with the nursing staff before bringing any additional items. (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 items.)

What are signs and symptoms of mental disturbance in the elderly?

  • Agitation
  • Combative behavior
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Confusion
  • Crying
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Failing memory
  • Irritability/verbal abuse
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia, hallucinations and/or delusions