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What services do geriatric psychiatric hospitals offer?

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Geriatric psychiatric hospitals offer services such as psychopharmacologic evaluations, psychiatric medication management, safety evaluations and neuropsychological assessments, explains Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. They may also offer recreational therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, psychosocial rehabilitation services, assessments of independent-living abilities and counseling to family members, depending on the individual hospital.

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Patients may have access to exercise opportunities during their stays in geriatric psychiatric hospitals, depending on the facility. For example, McLean Hospital's website explains that it provides stationary bikes and also has outdoor walks and exercise groups in which patients can participate.

Geriatric psychiatry units in hospitals are equipped to handle the unique psychiatric issues that affect elderly patients. For example, cognitive changes from aging-related conditions, such as dementia, can make elderly individuals more susceptible to mental health problems, such as depression, behavioral issues and anxiety, as McLean Hospital explains. Programs differ in the ages of patients they accept. The geriatric neuropsychiatry unit of McLean Hospital sees patients above the age of 50, as of 2015, while Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital says it offers treatment to individuals aged 65 and older.

Working in close conjunction with family members and other caregivers is an important aspect of the treatment geriatric psychiatry hospitals provide, notes Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. In addition to receiving emotional support, caregivers must also receive instructions on how to care for the elderly patients once they leave the hospital.

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