Old Age Psychiatry

Depression among the elderly population is more common when compared to the general population. Many different factors causes depression. Physical illnesses- like arthritis, diabetes, cardiac and other chronic illness can increase the risk of depression among the elderly population. The other causes could be due to lack of structure during the day, social isolation, medication side effects, and alcohol and substance misuse. When people suffer from depression, they experience following symptoms.

  • Disturbances
  • Feeling Sad Most Of The Days
  • Feeling Worthless And Hopeless
  • Having Suicidal Ideations
  • Having Loss Of Appetite And Loss Of Weight
  • Loosing Interest On Things That They Used Enjoy Before

At ARAM hospital we do comprehensive assessments and make management plan considering, medical, psychological and social factors. There are two different types of treatment available to treat depression. They are talking therapy and medications. We have expertise in providing psychological therapies like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal therapy, and Counselling for coping skills, for the treatment of depression.

Mania is a common disorder among the elderly population. When people suffer from Manic episode they tend to feel extremely happy, require less or no sleep, irritable in the mood, spend money recklessly, make unrealistic plan, and also sometimes feel suicidal. During this episode some people may experience unusual false belief which can affects their behaviour towards others. Mania can also occur secondary to underlying medical causes such as Brain Tumour and other physical illnesses. Therefore, it is mandatory to evaluate thoroughly with suitable investigations and treat adequately with medications and psychological therapies. Manic episode can make the elderly people more vulnerable and therefore they may require brief hospital admissions until they get settled in their presentations.

Dementia is a common problem in elderly population. When elderly people get affected by dementia, they loose memory and daily functions gradually. They loose executive functions, thinking ability, organisational skills, and speaking ability. Many times, people tend to get confused and get lost when they go out on their own. There may be behavioural problems which can affect their loved ones emotionally. There are many types of dementia and the management of dementia depends on the type of dementia. Therefore, it is important to do thorough assessment to arrive at the diagnosis including the assessment of the level of function. In ARAM psychiatry service we have psychiatrists with special interest in the Dementia. We use various assessment tools to ascertain the diagnosis, degree of severity, level of progression of disease. We make management plan involving the multidisciplinary team and the family and commence on appropriate medications and devise effective multi pronged management plan addressing psychological, behavioural, and social problems.

Managing Behaviour problems in the people with dementia is very challenging and it requires medical assessment followed by administration of medications. We support families as much as we do with patients.