Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric Psychiatry Boulder CO

Geriatric Psychiatry at Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness

At Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness, we understand the unique mental health needs of older adults and are dedicated to providing specialized care through our geriatric psychiatry services. Our team of compassionate and experienced mental health providers recognizes the importance of tailored approaches to address the specific challenges faced by older adults.

Experienced Geriatric Mental Health Providers

At Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness, we prioritize the mental well-being of our older patients, recognizing the impact it has on their overall quality of life. Our team is specifically trained in geriatric psychiatry and brings extensive expertise in managing mental health concerns unique to the older population, including an understanding of safe prescribing of medications in older adult patients.

Comprehensive Care for Older Adults

We offer a range of geriatric psychiatry services to address various mental health conditions and concerns commonly experienced by older adults. Our services encompass comprehensive assessments, accurate diagnoses, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing support throughout the therapeutic journey. We also provide rounding services to residents of assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care communities.

We take a holistic approach to geriatric psychiatry, considering the physical, emotional, and social aspects of our patients’ lives. Our team recognizes the importance of individualized care and actively involves patients in their treatment decisions, promoting a patient-centered approach.

At Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness, we value collaboration and work closely with other healthcare professionals involved in our patients’ care. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive evaluation, coordination of treatments, and effective communication among the healthcare team.

Understanding Memory Disorders

Memory concerns are common older adult patients.  Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, but there are many kinds, including:

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, characterized by progressive memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes. It affects a person’s ability to remember, think, and reason.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia occurs due to changes in blood vessels in the brain, resulting in cognitive impairment. It is often caused by conditions such as strokes or small vessel disease.

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia is associated with abnormal deposits of protein in the brain, called Lewy bodies, which affect chemicals in the brain and lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood. 

Parkinson’s disease dementia

Parkinson’s disease dementia is a decline in thinking and reasoning skills that develops in some people living with Parkinson’s at least a year after diagnosis.

Frontal Temporal Dementia               

Frontotemporal dementia is the result of damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Many possible symptoms can result, including unusual behaviors, emotional problems, trouble communicating, difficulty with work, or difficulty with walking.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

MCI refers to a slight decline in cognitive abilities beyond what is expected with normal aging, but which doesn’t meet the diagnostic threshold for a dementia diagnosis. It may involve memory problems and can be an early indicator of potential progression to dementia.  Early diagnosis and treatment can improve prognosis and potentially allow us to identify and treat reversible underlying causes of the decline.

Diagnosis and Assessment of Memory Disorders

Comprehensive Evaluation in Geriatric Adults

Our team conducts a thorough assessment, including a detailed medical history, cognitive testing, and additional information as needed to accurately assess memory disorders.  Treatment may include medications for memory, as well as medications to treat symptoms that commonly accompany dementia, such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, behavioral concerns, or insomnia.

Cognitive Assessments for Elderly

Various tests are used to evaluate memory, attention, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive functions to identify cognitive impairments and determine the severity. We offer focused neuropsychological assessments to determine areas of cognitive deficit, aid in diagnosing the type of dementia, and to gain a better understanding of a patient’s current level of functioning.

Treatment Approaches for Memory Disorders and Cognitive Health

Medication Management: Depending on the type and stage of the memory disorder, medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms, slow disease progression, and enhance cognitive functioning. We can diagnose and treat the neuropsychiatric symptoms that are common in dementia, and include anxiety, behavioral concerns, psychosis, and depression.

Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical exercise, a balanced diet, quality sleep, and social engagement can contribute to cognitive health.

Supportive Therapies: Therapies such as cognitive rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help individuals with memory disorders optimize their cognitive functioning and improve daily living skills.  We can refer patients to these therapies as needed.

Addressing Depression, Isolation, and Loneliness in Older Adults

Depression is underrecognized and undertreated in the older adult population, and we know that social isolation is a contributing factor to depression.

Recognizing Depression in Older Adults

Older adults may exhibit different signs of depression, including persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Our team conducts thorough assessments, including clinical interviews and validated rating scales, to accurately diagnose depression in older adults and determine its severity.

Treatment Approaches for Depression

Medication Management: Antidepressant medications may be prescribed to manage depressive symptoms. Our team carefully considers individual health factors, potential interactions with other medications, and closely monitors treatment response and side effects.

Psychotherapy and Counseling: Some older adults can benefit from individual psychotherapy to address depression, and evidence has shown therapy to be effective in treating depression in older adults. These approaches help individuals identify negative thought patterns, develop coping skills, and improve their overall mood.

Lifestyle Modifications and Self-Care Strategies: Encouraging regular physical exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, engaging in enjoyable activities, social interaction, and stress reduction techniques can support overall well-being and alleviate symptoms of depression.

Combating Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults

Social isolation and loneliness can significantly affect the mental health and quality of life of older adults. They may be caused by factors such as loss of loved ones, retirement, physical limitations, or lack of social support.

Encouraging participation in community activities, senior centers, and volunteer work provides opportunities for social interaction and a sense of belonging. Introducing older adults to technology, such as smartphones or video calling platforms, can facilitate virtual connections with loved ones and access to online communities.

Support groups specifically tailored for older adults provide a safe space to share experiences, receive emotional support, and develop coping strategies for managing feelings of isolation. Also, assisting with transportation arrangements or providing access to transportation services can help older adults engage in social activities outside their immediate surroundings.

At Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness, we understand the importance of addressing depression, isolation, and loneliness in older adults. Our team of dedicated professionals specializes in geriatric mental health and is committed to providing comprehensive assessments, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing support to help individuals overcome these challenges and enhance their overall well-being.

Contact Amavi for more information on Geriatric Psychiatry

At Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness, we understand the unique mental health needs of older adults and are committed to providing specialized care to support their well-being. Addressing memory disorders and promoting cognitive health is crucial for maintaining independence and enhancing overall quality of life. Through comprehensive evaluations and personalized treatment plans, our team works diligently to support individuals with memory disorders and optimize their cognitive functioning.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms related to memory disorders, depression, isolation, or any other mental health concerns, seeking professional help is crucial. To learn more about our geriatric psychiatry services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

We offer

Telehealth Services

Telehealth is a safe and convenient option to receive care from home. Please contact us to find out more about Telehealth Services for mental health care.