Many questions arise when patients are seeking treatment for an eating disorder. Below are some questions we frequently receive from patients and family members. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please call us at 609.853.7575 or toll-free at 877.932.8935.
I believe I/my loved one may have an eating disorder. What should I do?
If you believe you or a loved one may have an eating disorder, it’s important to seek help. Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can be devastating and even life-threatening. However, with the proper treatment, recovery is both achievable and sustainable. To speak with a member of our Admissions team about how we may be able to help, please call us at 609.853.7575 or toll-free at 877.932.8935.
What is the minimum age to enter the program?
We provide treatment for adults, adolescents and children as young as 8 years old who are suffering from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. We have one of the few inpatient programs in the region for children as young as 8 to 11. The impact of eating disorders on this young age group can be particularly devastating. Many of our groups are structured to address the specific needs of patients at a particular developmental level. We also tailor individual psychotherapy and family participation to the needs and developmental level of our patients.
How are patients integrated into the program, and how do they interact with one another?
Entering treatment can be a stressful time for many patients. To ease this transition, we provide a welcoming orientation for each patient, including a tour of our facility and an introduction to other patients. Introductions are often made at mealtimes or during community meetings, where patients have time to talk and learn more about one another. One of the most compelling and special aspects of our program is the support and camaraderie that patients share with one another. This peer-to-peer interaction plays an integral role in the recovery process. Our daily schedule includes time where patients can relax, watch television in one of our patient lounges, play games and participate in other activities with fellow patients who may be experiencing similar feelings and concerns.
Can I use my laptop and phone on site?
Yes. Patients may bring their laptops and cell phones, as well as other personal items such as special bedding or photographs. We believe it’s important for patients to feel comfortable during their treatment, and we encourage them to bring items from home that will support a sense of security and well-being. While treatment activities are scheduled throughout the day, personal time is also allotted for the use of these items. You can review our checklist (PDF file) for more details on what to bring and what to leave home.
Are visitors allowed, and how accessible is the hospital for people traveling from outside of the area?
Visiting time is scheduled every evening on weekdays, and more frequently on the weekends. While a number of our patients are from New Jersey, the majority of our patients come from other states. Our facility is easily accessible, and a number of hotels in the area provide discounted rates for patients’ families who are visiting. For more information on hotel accommodations, visit our list of lodging options (PDF file) or call us at 609.853.7575 (toll-free at 877.932.8935). Our staff will work with families who are out of town to accommodate their scheduling needs.
How can my child keep up with school work?
Tutoring is provided by certified schoolteachers so that our school-aged students are able to keep up with their studies throughout treatment. Our teaching staff will coordinate with guidance counselors and assist with getting homework lessons as needed.
What if I/my child needs medical care while in the program?
If a patient experiences a medical issue while being treated for an eating disorder and needs to be admitted to University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) as a medical patient, we provide exceptional care in our full-service medical center. In addition, UMCPP’s board certified physicians and pediatricians from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) are on site 24/7 to provide consultation if needed.
How much security does the unit have?
Ensuring the health and safety of our patients is a top priority, and our Center is designed with this in mind. The Center is located in a separate section of the hospital that is designed exclusively for patients with eating disorders. A registered nurse is on site 24/7, supported by physicians and many other professional staff members who provide regular oversight and care. There are two controlled access points to the unit to keep patients and staff safe.
Are any religious services available?
Within the medical center, there is a welcoming Chapel of Light that is supported by the hospital’s Department of Religious Ministries. Chaplains are available to patients, families and friends. They support people from all religious faiths, as well as those without an affiliation
Can you accommodate a special diet?
Yes. Our staff will work with patients to accommodate specific dietary needs, such as kosher or vegetarian diets. Our Executive Chef works regularly with our professional team to support our patients’ nutritional and dietary goals.