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Psychiatric care of older adults can include managing the normal effects of mental and physical changes of aging, but also focuses on the psychological and neurological changes that can worsen as the body and brain get older. Geriatric psychiatry focuses on evaluation, prevention, diagnosis, and care of ailments including cognitive impairments like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Treatment also takes into account the effects of caring for older adults, and can address support for families and caregivers as well as patients.
Dementia, also known as major neurocognitive disorder, is a collection of symptoms that severely affect memory and thoughts so as to interfere with daily functions. Dementia is the persistent interruption of brain processes, most often evident in memory impairments, changes in personality, and inability to reason. Dementia is often complicated by mood disorders like depression or bipolar disorder.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia, often starting with mild memory difficulties and moving to a steady decline of memory and brain function. Though many organizations are actively researching causes, medications, and cures for Alzheimer’s, current treatments can often delay the progression of the disease, but there is currently no cure. Care and support are of primary importance in the treatment of older adults with Alzheimer’s.
These articles on older adult mental health may also be of interest.
Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Services
Comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for individuals ages 50 and older who are experiencing emotional, cognitive, or behavioral symptoms.
Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services
An array of services are available for adults ages 50 and older with depression, anxiety, and cognitive function disorders.