As the population ages, increasing numbers of older people require the attention and services of mental health professionals. Despite their prevalence, however, mental health problems in this population often go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This textbook offers medical students and professionals the information they need to care for older people with mental disorders.
Drs. Donna Cohen and Carl Eisdorfer, two internationally recognized experts in geriatric mental health, provide a comprehensive framework within which students and practitioners alike can address the salient issues of the field. These include the biopsychosocial aging processes, specific pathologies prevalent in later life, social issues common to the elderly, the delivery of care in various settings, and the economic policies affecting services for older people.
The authors’ goal is not only to enhance clinical practice but also to urge physicians to develop and coordinate a more holistic care strategy that acknowledges the complex challenges of older patients. To this end, Cohen and Eisdorfer discuss essential principles of optimal care, the latest research findings, evidence- and consensus-based practice standards, resources to help professionals keep abreast of the changing mental health landscape, and ethical dilemmas of clinical practice and research.
The signal strength of this book lies in its integrated approach, an approach that emphasizes the philosophy and principles of caring for older people along with clinical practices and issues. From this broader perspective, the authors describe the many factors that influence the lives, health, and well-being of older patients and their caregivers, making this an ideal text for psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers.
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