By 2030, it is estimated that adults over age 65 will comprise one-fifth of the US population. The Institute of Medicine reports that 14-20 percent of older adults have significant mental health concerns. Geriatric psychiatry specializes in providing care and assistance with mental and emotional disorders to the aging population.
Geriatric psychiatrists understand the problems facing older adults today, with an expert ability to differentiate normal and expected changes associated with aging with more significant mental and cognitive concerns. These specialists understand the various types of mental health conditions that can be an effect of chronic physical illness and how they can evolve with age. Changes in personality are often signs of a mood or cognitive disorder. Regular visits with a geriatric psychiatrist can greatly reduce the risk of expensive inpatient interventions.
Review prescription and over-the-counter medications, since older adults are more vulnerable to adverse cognitive effects. Geriatric psychiatrists are experts in the complex nature of the aging brain as it relates to brain chemistry and medications, and potential adverse reactions that other medications can have on the brain.
Many older adults are reluctant to seek the help of a psychiatrist. They may be anxious to talk about how they are feeling or what they are experiencing. Caregivers should consult their loved one’s primary care doctor if there are concerns regarding mental and emotional health.
Support is available that can help the aging population improve their overall quality of life.
For clients with behavioral health needs, Independence Health & Therapy in Woodstock offers a full range of Behavioral Health services, administered in an outpatient setting, including a specialization in Geriatric psychotherapy.
Independence Health & Therapy: 2028 N. Seminary Ave,. Woodstock, IL 60098, 815-338-3590, www.IndependenceHealth.org