Geriatric Inpatient Group Therapy
The modern short-term acute inpatient psychiatric ward typically houses together a wide variety of patients with respect to psychiatric diagnosis and other factors such as cultural background and age. Since one of the basic strategies of inpatient treatment is milieu therapy and the improvement of interpersonal skills through patient-patient and patient-staff interaction, the geriatric patient presents special problems due to his frequent difficulties in these therapeutic modes. The geriatric patient often feels alienated from the general ward milieu. He is frequently a minority in numbers, cannot compete with the more energetic younger patients for staff attention, finds it difficult to make his needs heard in patient ward community meetings, and feels culturally “out of it” in terms of generation-gap issues such as religion, drug abuse and sexual freedom, which are frequent topics of formal and informal group meetings. Moreover, geriatric patients tend to have more depression and withdrawal over a wide range of diagnoses, compared to other patients, in addition to primary depression, which itself is a frequent geriatric diagnosis. Adding to the picture is the high rate of physical disabilities among the elderly which compounds the loss of psychological and social skills. A painful arthritis may turn out to be the decisive factor determining whether or not an elderly patient gets out of bed in the morning.
KeywordsGeriatric Patient Senior Citizen Psychiatric Ward Inpatient Psychiatric Unit Geriatric Inpatient
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