Mental health treatment of older adults is challenging under the best of circumstances. It requires an understanding of the expected medical and psychological changes with aging, effects of life transitions, nuances of psychiatric presentations in the elderly, and ability to tailor treatments to be safe and effective in older adults. Understanding the social and family dynamics of older adults and families is always essential, but more poignant amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal at Michigan Medicine is to continue to provide effective care for these vulnerable patients in an ever-changing model of practice with increased reliance on technology to facilitate patient interactions.
The information contained on this website is meant to serve as a guide for primary care clinicians in assessing and treating common psychiatric conditions in older adults, with attention to delivering care in a virtual setting. Sections on psychiatric conditions are organized around common presentations in older adults, screening methods, and initial treatment recommendations. Consultation and Geriatric Psychiatry referral is appropriate in instances of diagnostic uncertainty or cases with complicated conditions, management, and family dynamics. Additional references and resources are cited for the curious reader.