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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Road Less Travelled; the Inpatient Geriatric-Psychiatric Option.

Submitted by: Jason Young, MS

When a geriatric patient begins to experience a substantial decrease in appetite and sleep, this can quickly become a life threatening situation. For example, someone diagnosed with Major Depression showing a sudden decrease in appetite may benefit greatly from an evaluation of their antidepressant medications. Often, specialists are able to prescribe medications that have strong appetite stimulating properties in addition to their psychotropic effects.

The person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease doing fairly well for a few years may begin to become more agitated and uncooperative with care, sometimes refusing medications. If the complete refusal of medications continues for long, numerous complications can occur. Many times, adjustments can be made to memory enhancing meds and anti-psychotics that can be of great help. Other times there is untreated depression and / or anxiety that can be addressed accordingly.

The aforementioned examples certainly do not encompass the hundreds of differing treatment scenarios that occur. Though by considering the positive results that can be reached in a short amount of time within an intensive psychiatric program, one can conceptualize how such an approach may be able to help their loved one. Acute intensive psychiatric treatment should be thought of as the option to take when ones primary physician and / or psychiatrist has been unable to stabilize the patient on an outpatient basis. The only reason to seek treatment at an inpatient unit is to allow a specialist the opportunity to evaluate the patient for needed changes to their medications. This is certainly not the only advantage of entering such a facility, though it is the primary goal that should never be lost sight of. Great things happen in these facilities. All caregivers of elderly persons with cognitive problems should become more knowledgeable on where their loved one could obtain such help should it ever be needed.

Jason has 10 years experience with serving seniors in several capacities. He currently works as a geriatric clinician, marketer, and speaker for a health care company and geriatric inpatient psychiatric unit. Jason has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and a Masters in Community Agency Counseling. For more of his articles, please visit http://jasonyoung99.wordpress.com

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