WRMC CEO Richard Keddington said the new wing, which is set to open in fall of 2018, is designed for short inpatient stays of people 65 years and older.
"We'll be caring for patients with a variety of behavioral health acute issues such as severe depression, bipolar disorder and acute psychosis," Keddington said. "The unit is not necessarily designed for chronic conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's but patients may have these as secondary issues."
Keddington said the hospital will be bringing in a psychiatrist who specializes in behavioral health to head the new 15-bed unit. He added that the wing will contain a group activity room, counseling space and an area for family visitation.
"It will be designed with safety in mind," he said. "It will be secured 24/7."
Local construction firm Maas Brothers has been hired to build the unit.
"This is something that's great for Watertown," Jeff Baum, chariman of the hospital's joint venture board, said. "It will affect a lot of people in town in a very positive way."
This article originally appeared on www.wdtimes.com.