A geriatric psychologist helps older people with their mental health. Individuals working in this field are specially trained in therapeutic practices and are able to diagnose and treat a variety of psychological issues affecting the elderly. In order to ensure that physical challenges related to mental health are properly treated or monitored, a geriatric psychologist may communicate with an elderly patient’s caregivers and medical doctors.
A variety of physical changes and emotional issues can have a negative impact on mental health as people age. As a result, older adults may need the assistance of a geriatric psychologist to deal with issues related to aging. A geriatric psychologist is a professional trained to recognize common problems among the elderly, such as depression and dementia, and is often the first to identify the underlying causes of certain behavioral changes and, if necessary, refer a patient to another doctor for medical care.
Age-related depression, anxiety, psychosocial changes, and grief management are some of the issues that a geriatric psychologist can help with. Chronic pain and illness are frequently linked to deteriorating geriatric mental health. A geriatric psychologist is specially trained to identify these issues and assist patients in developing healthy coping mechanisms for pain and illness.
A geriatric psychologist may work one-on-one with a patient or provide counseling to a group of people. Indeed, these professionals are frequently found working in group care facilities such as nursing homes. Some collaborate with family members and caregivers to develop strategies for patients to maintain a sense of purpose and vitality.
Geriatric care psychologists have written books and other written materials to help society better understand the aging process. In some parts of the world, the elderly are frequently depicted as helpless or useless. These harmful stereotypes contribute to the fear and depression that some people experience as they age, but many geriatric care experts work to dispel these myths promoting healthy aging strategies and emphasizing the value of elderly citizens in society.
Medical doctors who specialize in geriatric psychiatry may collaborate with a geriatric psychologist. A geriatric psychiatrist is better suited to provide mental health care if a patient’s mental health requires prescription drug treatment or other medical therapies, as these professionals are trained in psychology as well as medicine. Individuals specializing in geriatric psychology are not trained in medical procedures or geriatric medicine in general, so in severe cases of depression or another mental illness, a psychiatrist may be more heavily relied upon for medical treatment.