Geratric Psychiatry in Delray Beach | Southcoast Psychiatric Services

Older adults aren’t immune to psychiatric disorders. So, here at South Coast Psychiatric Services, we aim to make senior psychiatric patients comfortable by offering a number of geriatric psychiatry services to meet their mental health needs. Here at our outpatient facility, we offer diagnostic testing, treatments, and a number of counseling services for geriatric patients. This way, they can get the help they need to establish a life of recovery and mental health management.

What is Geriatric Psychiatry?

Geriatric Psychiatry is comprised of three central components. According to the American Psychiatric Association, these components include addressing normal characteristics of aging, the effects of mental and physical illness, and the psychiatric symptoms aging evoke. Typically, it is meant for individuals aged 65 and older. Specifically, it aims to help aging individuals deal with a multitude of different issues. This way, they can live out the senior years of their lives with increased wellbeing.

Some of the Issues Geriatric Psychiatry Addresses

Geriatric psychiatry can help elderly individuals identify and address a number of issues that face as a result of aging. Basically, aging can bring about mental health issues that weren’t present during the younger years. And, the goal of geriatric psychiatry is to treat these mental health issues using the knowledge and insight needed to also account for elderly patients.

Some specific mental health issues geriatric psychiatry can help to address include:

Geratric Psychiatry in Delray Beach | Southcoast Psychiatric ServicesCoping with Loss: Certainly, the longer we are here on earth, the more likely we are to experience awful loss and tragedy. For elderly individuals, losing a spouse, child, friends, other loved ones, and even a combination of these can leave lasting pain and grief. Furthermore, with age, we tend to lose more than just our loved ones. Specifically, aging can bring about a number of physical losses including loss of vision, hearing, and even memory.

Insomnia: All too often, mental health issues that seniors face affect their ability to get enough sleep. Without a proper sleep schedule, even more, debilitating symptoms can arise for these individuals. For example, poor mood management, low energy, and depression.

Medication Management: It’s not uncommon for elderly individuals to have a host of medications to take on a daily basis. But, more often than not, taking all of these medications can leave a person dealing with a slew of side effects. Not to mention, some medications can react adversely with others if taken simultaneously. During geriatric psychiatry, a psychiatrist can review the prescribed medications elderly individuals are taking. And, determine whether or not replacements can be made or less medication can be taken.

Physical Symptoms from Mental Issues: It’s true that both the mind and body work in synchrony. So, when mental health isn’t taken care of effectively, physical ailments and symptoms can arise. Often, aging individuals will express that they are experiencing chronic pain or other physical symptoms. But, doctors cannot pinpoint a physical reason for these effects. One goal of geriatric psychiatry is to address physical symptoms that may be apparent as a result of concurrent mental health issues.

Mental Health Issues Elderly Individuals Commonly Face

Along with the issues above, geriatric psychiatry aims to identify and treat various mental health issues that are relatively common in the elderly community. Some of these issues may include:

Anxiety: Anxiety is not very rare in the elderly population, as it affects roughly 6% of all elderly individuals. And, as older individuals are less likely to report mental health symptoms, this number may be much greater.

Depression: Just as anxiety is prevalent in the elderly population, so is depression. In fact, it’s the most prevalent mental health issue elderly individuals face. It affects nearly 7% of people over the age of 65.

Behavioral Issues: These may include any symptoms of underlying mental health and aging issues like delirium and types of dementia. Behavioral symptoms as a result of these conditions can include acting out irrationally, mood swings, verbal outbursts, wandering with no purpose, and motor impairments.

Sexual Debilitation: With age, the chance of sexual dysfunction grows. This may be the result of something biological, but can also be the result of mental health changes.

Suicidal Thoughts/Behaviors: As depression is the most prevalent mental health issue elderly individuals face, suicidal thoughts and behaviors can occur. Sadly, the elderly population is the most likely population to experience suicidal thoughts and actions.

Addiction: Just like younger individuals, elderly people who struggle with mental health issues are more likely to self-medicate using drugs and/or alcohol. Thus, they are more likely to develop addictive behaviors and drug dependence.

Have an Elderly Loved One That Needs Help?

SouthCoast Psychiatric Services offers geriatric psychiatric services to address any of the mental health issues elderly individuals face. This way, both senior citizens and their loved ones can gain healing and peace of mind. And, learn to develop a lifestyle that encourages mental wellbeing. To learn more about how we can help, contact us right from our website.