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1295 Bandana Boulevard West
Suite 310 & 210
St. Paul, MN 55108
P: 651-645-5323
F: 651-621-8490
Toll-Free: 1-888-364-5977

A provider talks with a young client
April 20, 2023

A Day in the Life of an Adolescent Patient in Inpatient and Residential Care

Eating disorder treatment is a big step – especially when your child will be leaving home to receive care. It’s normal for both you and your child to feel some anxiety about upcoming inpatient or residential eating disorder treatment. After all, you are taking a very brave leap into the unknown! Knowing what to expect during treatment can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety. Our clinical team also understands the apprehension surrounding treatment. We promise to be right beside you, offering support and guidance on your first day – and every day – of the treatment journey.

Adolescent Inpatient and Residential Care Schedule Overview

A day in the life of an adolescent patient in an inpatient or residential program is full from start to finish. With a focus on around-the-clock support and care, all patients and families are provided with the structure and skill development needed for lasting recovery back in their home environment.

Throughout the week, your child will take part in treatment interventions and hands-on culinary experiences to develop skills and equip them to maintain their recovery once they return to their everyday life. Some therapy sessions, nutrition sessions, meals, and culinary experiences will include families so skills can be discussed and practiced with caregivers and communities of support. Your child will also have structured time built into the day for schoolwork so they can keep up with their studies while they receive care.

  • Personal hygiene and vitals are the first activities each day. Once your child is ready to start their day, medical staff will check their vitals (weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, etc.).
  • Therapeutic-supported meals and snacks provide the nourishment crucial to your child’s recovery. These clinician-guided meals help patients process the negative emotions that arise around food and challenge the maladaptive coping mechanisms of their eating disorder behaviors. 
  • Therapy groups include time for your child to learn and practice the necessary skills for eating disorder recovery. Some examples include acknowledging and experiencing emotions, distress tolerance, boundary-setting, and interpersonal effectiveness. 
  • Nutrition/Culinary groups provide meal plan education and awareness about the body’s nutritional needs, including how bodies utilize nutrients. These groups also explore concepts that set the stage for your child’s healthier relationship with food. 
  • Expressive groups include yoga, art, and outdoor time to rebuild the connection between your child and their body with internal experiences. 
  • School includes weekday time set aside for your child to complete schoolwork with a licensed teacher. 
  • Outdoor, phone, and visitation time provides opportunities for your child to connect with their family and friends.
  • Outings include activities outside of the treatment center.
  • Evenings include time for homework, games, movies, or quiet time.

Your child will need rest and relaxation for their body to heal. Weekend days involve structure as well as opportunities for visitation, downtime, and fun activities. It is worth noting that eating disorders can make it difficult for our patients to tolerate unscheduled stretches or “downtime.” By design, we build in unstructured time to spend with peers while supervised by staff.  

For a more specific timeline, view the sample schedule for a typical day:

Sample Adol Residential schedule

The Importance of Families and Communities of Support 

As a caregiver, you can expect to dedicate about five hours per week to treatment activities, including family therapy sessions, nutrition sessions, family meals, medical and psychiatric appointments, psychoeducational and support groups, and connections with your child’s treatment team. Additionally, you will have the opportunity for phone calls and visitation with your child. We offer virtual participation for those who are unable to be on-site. 

You know your child best, and you are an essential part of their recovery. Recovery happens in community, and community includes your support people, such as grandparents and family friends. 

Thank you for entrusting us with your child. We recognize this is an incredible responsibility and opportunity for changing the course of your child’s health, relationships, and wellbeing. 

If you have additional questions about inpatient or residential child and adolescent treatment at Veritas Collaborative, check out our Parent FAQs. To speak with an admissions specialist or get started, call us at 612-402-3061 or complete an online form