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This subject is a core subject in Year 3 of the Masters of Psychiatry program. Ten weeks focus directly on the clinical and research aspects of Old Age Psychiatry – psychiatric disorders as they present in the older age group (>65 years). The teaching will promote development of a clinical style that delivers care to this population in a positive, compassionate and patient-centred manner and with an awareness of their needs. The old age component of the unit will address the interaction of ageing and mental health, epidemiological and demographical aspects of ageing in Australia and worldwide, the social construction of ageing, individual experiences of ageing, ageing and mental health of indigenous Australians, physical and psychological consequences of ageing, families and ageing, sexuality and ageing, death and dying, common cognitive and functional disorders in the elderly, physical health, pharmacology and ageing and service provision to the elderly with a mental illness. An additional 2 weeks within this subject will be more practical sessions; in which themes of the Capstone Special Topics in Psychiatry Subject will be introduced. In these sessions, students will build upon their concepts of the vocational aspects of psychiatry as they move towards advanced training.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject, students should be able to:
- Describe the common psychiatric syndromes which affect older people, their presentation, differential diagnosis, assessment, basic management and outcomes.
- Demonstrate the skills to interview older persons effectively and to assess their mental state with particular reference to cognitive function.
- Demonstrate the skills necessary to manage the common psychiatric disorders affecting older people and the sensitivity to the social milieu in which the aged person lives with particular reference to the need to support and assist carers of older persons with psychiatric disorders.
- Discuss the range of services available to assist older people with mental health problems in Australia and the way these services are likely to develop in the future.
- Describe the experience of ageing as lived in Australia together with the social, societal and personal implications of the ageing process.
- Utilise appropriate referral to other specialists and services (both medical and social) for older people.
Last updated: 29 July 2022