As people age they may begin to suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or even dementia. In order to help address these issues, geriatric psychiatrists—mental health professionals with expertise in the elderly—can be of great assistance. With the right help, seniors with mental health needs can lead better quality lives and enjoy their golden years.
What Is Geriatric Psychiatry?
Geriatric psychiatry is a sub-specialty of psychiatry focused on the unique mental health needs of the elderly population. This type of mental health expertise is increasingly necessary given aging affects the body and brain differently than in younger adulthoods. Geriatric psychiatrists are qualified to diagnose, evaluate, and treat the full range of mental health conditions in older adults.
Mental Health Conditions in Older Adults
Geriatric psychiatrists can help diagnose and treat a range of mental health conditions, specifically as they affect the elderly. Some of the most common mental health issues seen in people over the age of 65 are:
- Depression. Depression is a common mood disorder that can cause feelings of sadness, loss of interest in hobbies, sleep problems, and fatigue.
- Anxiety. Anxiety is an emotional state characterized by fear or worrying. It can cause physical and emotional symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.
- Dementia. Dementia is a cognitive disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It can impair the ability to make decisions or solve problems.
Living with a Mental Health Condition
Living with a mental health condition can be challenging and stressful. It can be difficult to manage daily activities like getting dressed, going to appointments, or keeping track of medications. Fortunately, help is available for seniors struggling with mental health issues.
Geriatric Psychiatry Services
Geriatric psychiatrists are able to address the challenges that come with aging and mental health issues. Services can include:
- Diagnosis. Geriatric psychiatrists can diagnose and evaluate mental health conditions in older adults.
- Treatment. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medications, or other therapies such as lifestyle changes, supportive therapies, and activities.
- Advocacy. Geriatric psychiatrists can provide support and advocacy to ensure seniors have access to appropriate care.
If you or a loved one are living with a mental health condition, seeking help from a geriatric psychiatrist can make a world of difference. Mental health care should be tailored to meet the unique needs of seniors, and with the right help, older adults can enjoy a better quality of life.
Geriatric Psychiatry, Mental Health, Seniors, Depression, Anxiety, Dementia, Treatment, Advocacy