Old Age Psychiatry

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Old Age Psychiatry

Old Age Psychiatry is a sub-specialisation of psychiatry which involves assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of older adult patients and those with needs relating to the ageing process, who present with a wide range of psychiatric illness and other neurological conditions such as dementia. They combine expert knowledge of mental and physical health care needs to provide person-centred care for patients.

Old age psychiatry differs from general adult psychiatry largely because the challenges presented by managing the mental and cognitive health of older people is more complex than in younger populations. Ethics and clinical decisions need to be carefully considered and balanced, and a holistic approach needs to be undertaken. Elderly patients generally have co-existing physical conditions and often have a high rate of polypharmacy (multiple medicines are taken at once), making treatment more nuanced and the role of an old age psychiatrist more specialised.

Conditions treated by old age psychiatrists include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Cognitive decline (e.g., memory loss, language impairment, personality change, or behaviour change)
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia (e.g., hallucinations, delusions, depression, apathy, insomnia, or agitation)
  • Psychiatric complications of medications (e.g., corticosteroids)
  • Psychiatric complications of medical conditions (e.g., strokes)

For an appointment, please call our practice on (02) 8382 6746 or complete the inquiry form here.

For New and Current Patients

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