Geriatric psychiatrists can greatly improve quality of life for patients who have mental illnesses and for their families. Geriatric psychiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues that occur more commonly in older patients, such as dementia, depression, anxiety, late life addiction disorders and schizophrenia.
Older patients also may be dealing with multiple problems such as:
- Grief over the loss of a spouse or lifelong friends
- Feelings of isolation or lack of purpose
- Stress over financial issues
- Fears of illness or death
- Emotional problems related to health concerns (for example, coping with pain or a cancer diagnosis)
- Problems coping with changes around them