Everything You Need to Know About Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric psychiatry is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the mental health of individuals over the age of 65. It is a relatively new specialty but one that is becoming increasingly important as the population of older adults continues to grow.

This article will provide an overview of geriatric psychiatry, including its history, current trends, and the benefits it can offer.

The History of Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric psychiatry was first recognized as a specialty in the mid-1900s, as the population of older adults began to increase. As the field has developed, geriatric psychiatrists have focused on helping elderly individuals with age-related mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental health conditions.

These specialists have also become increasingly involved in helping elderly individuals manage their physical health, as well as their mental health.

The Roles of Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric psychiatrists specialize in understanding and treating the mental health needs of older adults. They are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Dementia
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Delirium
• Substance Abuse
• Sleep disorders
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Schizophrenia
• Bipolar Disorder

They use a variety of tools to evaluate a patient’s mental health, including physical exams, interviews, and cognitive tests. They then develop a customized treatment plan that is tailored to the individual’s needs. This plan may include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.

The Goals of Geriatric Psychiatry

1. Improve the Quality of Life

The primary goal of geriatric psychiatry is to improve the quality of life of elderly patients. This involves providing comprehensive assessments, medications, psychotherapy, and other treatment options.

2. Reduce the Risks of Physical Health Problems

Geriatric psychiatrists also work to reduce the risks of physical health problems, such as falls and fractures, as well as social and psychological issues, including isolation and loneliness.

Geriatric psychiatrists can also provide assistance with managing chronic illnesses and managing medications.

4. Help Elderly Individuals Maintain Their Independence

This can include providing assistance with activities of daily living, such as helping an elderly individual with bathing, dressing, and eating.

5. Help Elderly Individuals Cope with Physical and Psychological Challenges

Geriatric psychiatrists also focus on helping elderly individuals cope with the physical and psychological challenges that come with aging. This includes providing guidance on how to best manage pain, fatigue, and other common age-related symptoms.

Geriatric psychiatrists also help elderly individuals make healthy lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, managing stress, and improving nutrition.

6. Prevent Mental Health Problems in the Elderly

Geriatric psychiatrists can provide education on healthy aging, identify risk factors for mental health problems, and suggest lifestyle changes that can help to prevent or reduce mental health issues in older adults.

Geriatric psychiatrists also work to improve access to mental health services and support for elderly patients, including through community outreach and advocacy.

7. Serve as Resources for Family Members and Caregivers

They can provide support for those who are caring for elderly individuals and help them understand the challenges associated with aging.


Geriatric psychiatry is an important field of medicine that helps elderly individuals maintain their mental and physical health. It is a specialized field that requires extensive training and experience, but its benefits can be invaluable for elderly individuals and their families.

If you or a loved one is in need of geriatric psychiatric care, it is important to seek out a qualified specialist who can provide the care and support necessary to ensure the best possible outcome. With the right care and support, geriatric psychiatry can help the elderly population lead happy and healthy lives.

At Morristown HC, we recognize that geriatric psychology is an important part of caring for the mental health of older adults. We are dedicated to providing the best care possible and are committed to helping our clients achieve their mental health goals. If you or someone you know is looking for geriatric psychology services in Morristown, please get in touch with us. We look forward to helping you find the best care for your needs.