Geropsychiatry focuses on the physical and emotional needs of older adults, including loss and adjustments in lifestyle, that are often complicated by medical issues. These combinations of issues are uniquely experienced by this age group.
As the American Psychiatric Association suggests, most American over the age of 65 consider depression as a normal part of aging. Unidentified and underdiagnosed depression can mask as dementia. Having an accurate diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve one’s quality of life.
The Geropsychiatry Program occurs on a 18-bed unit that provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for older adults who are experiencing emotional, cognitive, or behavioral symptoms. These may include memory loss, mood disturbances, anxiety, difficulty coping with losses and transitions, or behavioral conditions that interfere with care at home or in a long-term care setting. A primary diagnosis of a major psychiatric illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, or thought disorders, requiring 24-hour care for safety, is necessary for admission. Families are closely involved and participate during the hospitalization. Covered by many health insurance providers, our average length of stay is between 7 and 14 days.
The treatment team for geropsychiatry includes psychiatrists, internal medicine physicians, registered nurses, mental health techs, mental health assistants, recreational therapists, social workers, as well as other specialty services as needed. The structured program includes use of a multi-sensory environment, leisure activities, as well as music and expressive therapies.