Geriatric Psychiatry

“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart”- James.A.Garfield

Older adults have special physical, emotional, and social needs. Understanding this, the geriatric psychiatrist takes a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment, including listening and responding to the concerns of the older adult, helping families, and when necessary, working with other health care professionals to develop effective approaches to treatment. Co-existing medical illnesses, medications, family issues, social concerns, and environmental issues are integrated into a comprehensive program of care. The problems in this age include difficulty coping with change, stress, death, depression, memory problems, family history of dementia, anxiety, or agitation associated with dementia or poor sleep. Sometimes emotional problems occur for the first time in older adults who suffer with chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or other medical disorders. Late life is a time of transitions, with increased vulnerability to losses and illnesses that can lead to problems in memory and other cognitive abilities, emotion, and behavior. Properly trained psychologists can deliver psychosocial treatments that have proven effectiveness and they can objectively assess cognitive and behavioral functions in older people.