As senior citizens age, they are more probe to developing conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, dementia and Alzheimers disease. These conditions are degenerative disorders that affect an individual on a neurological level. In result, the individual’s behaviors and attitudes are altered in specific ways.
That’s where geriatric neuropsychiatry comes in.
By definition, geriatric neuropsychiatry is a field of neuropsychiatry that aims to specifically address the psychological complications that are associated with geriatric conditions. Such complications include sleep disorders, hallucinations, delusional beliefs, aggression, and sleep disorders.
While these changes are expected as aging seniors develop conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia, they typically only become cause for concern to the patients once friends, family, and caregivers notice these behavioral differences. At a neuropsychiatric geriatric care facility, patients can work to address these behavioral changes via several methods such as a structured living environment, meditation, supervision and therapy. Ultimately, these changes help to benefit all parties involved.
Defining the Approach
The neuropsychiatric approach is extremely comprehensive, and because of this, it is important that the treatment administered to geriatric patients is an ongoing and diligent process that involves all parties, including the patient, caregivers, family members involved and doctors. This helps to keep the treatment process transparent, as physicians are able to chart out specific goals and create a treatment plan that works to achieve these goals.
What are the symptoms of onset neuropsychiatric conditions that are associated with aging?
Firstly, these symptoms are often made apparent through degenerative disorders. This is because degenerative diseases result in the degeneration of specific cognitive areas of the brain, resulting in symptoms such as memory loss. These diseases include dementia, Alzherimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. If an elderly person experiences symptoms that suggest psychosis, such as hallucinations, losing touch with reality, or delusions, they may be dealing with a neuropsychiatric condition. For many of these individuals, headaches are often a common complain. Depression is also another condition that is commonly misdiagnosed among elderly populations, as their symptoms can usually be attributed to neuropsychiatric conditions.
What is your experience with degenerative disorders? If your loved one is suffering, we want to hear from you in the comments below.