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Geriatric Psychiatric Care

Aging is an inevitable part of life. The natural aging process is accompanied by both physical and mental changes. While a physician may prescribe certain medications to combat symptoms associated with physical changes, they are often ill-equipped to treat symptoms from the mental changes. That’s where a geriatric psychiatrist would come in.

Geriatric psychiatrists are psychiatrists that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions affecting older adults over the age of 65. The specialized field of geriatric psychiatry is also commonly referred to as geropsychiatry, psychogeriatrics, or psychiatry of old age. Geriatric psychiatrists can provide care to their patients in a variety of settings, such as private practice, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, in-patient centers, and veteran care centers.

Like non-specialized psychiatrists, geriatric psychiatrists hold either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree. Geriatric psychiatrists undergo 4 years of general psychiatry residency and an additional 1 year of specialty training in geriatric psychiatry. During this specialty training and residency, geriatric psychiatrists are educated on areas surrounding aging and mental health including patient care, medical knowledge, communication skills, practice-based learning, professionalism, and system-based practices.