Also known as geropsychiatry, psychiatry of old age, or psychogeriatrics is a branch of psychiatry, which deals with providing treatments for mental health in older human beings. It mainly focuses on the biological and psychological elements of the aging process. Today, this field is seen in developing countries as an increased need for it can be found. It is more so in two areas, including dementia and depression.
Norman White MD introduced the term ‘geropsychiatric unit’ in 1984. He is known to be the pioneer in this field and was the first to develop a specialized program in England. Just like any other branch of mental health in this too, therapy, medications, counsellings, and other behavioral treatments play an important role. In Geriatric Mental Health, emotions, behavior, memory, and other cognitive abilities are taken into consideration while treating the patients.
It is seen that in some older adults, as they age, they start to lose sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. This can hamper the normal functioning of everyday tasks. The things they once used to do it with ease start becoming a difficult chore. This is where Geriatric Mental Health comes in as older people can also experience depression due to these changes, because of the illness that becomes inevitable when one ages, and even because of lack of independence as they grow older. It is also seen that the death of a partner can induce loneliness and even lead to depression. Geriatric Mental Health ensures that the elderly are given proper treatment to tackle any mental health disorders and lead a happy life.
Dr Priya R Nair
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