LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's an open house for a new mental health facility in Lufkin. And, in the next two weeks, it will house 24 patients.
Audubon Behavioral Healthcare CEO William Brown says a facility for senior citizens is long overdue.
"A very large geriatric population here, and you have no services for what we do," said Brown.
Only those over 55 who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric need, such as Dementia, Alzheimer's, or Schizophrenia can seek assistance from the hospital.
"What we're doing is a service they don't provide, and we use those hospitals as our patients have different health problems that require their services," said Brown.
The hospital plans to work closely with other local hospitals, as well as diagnose patients at their own facility. They plan for treatment to last no longer than 15 days.
While 40 new jobs are being created, the real benefit is for patients. For many, the center eliminates long trips to Houston or even Louisiana for treatment.
"It not only costs not only financially, but the emotional toll that it takes on an older adult and their family members," said Juli Cook, Community Educator for Audubon Behavioral Healthcare.
"Anytime that you can serve people closer to home, it's less disruption in their lives and especially the elderly population," said Paul Jackson, Community Relations Officer for the Burke Center.
The Audubon Hospital is already receiving calls for new patients, despite its official opening being weeks away.