Life for many older people is a time of contentment and reflection. However as we age, we are faced with new and potentially difficult challenges, including health challenges.
Some stressors are more common in later life, such as a decline in functional ability. For example, older adults may experience reduced mobility, chronic pain, frailty or other health problems. Being more dependent on others for care can lead to a sense of a loss of dignity and independence.
In addition, older people are more likely to experience events such as bereavement, a decline in socioeconomic status with retirement or a change in living arrangements. All of these stressors can result in isolation, loneliness or psychological distress.
Depression and anxiety are often not well recognised or detected in older people. Quite often symptoms of depression, such as problems with sleeping, memory or concentration are mistakenly dismissed as a result of growing older. Sometimes depression and anxiety co-exist with dementia and this can make the specific diagnosis difficult.
The stigma surrounding these conditions makes older people reluctant to seek help.
Seniors Service for those aged 65 & over
The Seniors Service at Albert Road Clinic aims to provide person centred comprehensive and compassionate care, enabling the older person to optimise their functioning and improve their quality of life.
An inpatient stay offers individualised and supportive care and treatment to the older person via a cohesive team of health professionals including:
- Consulting Psychiatrists /Old Age Psychiatrists
- Registered nurses
- Occupational therapist
- Clinical psychologist
- General medical practitioner
- Social worker
Inpatients also have access to other visiting medical and allied health professionals, such as a geriatrician, physician, neuropsychologist, physiotherapist and dietitian if required.
Treatment for an older person with a mental health condition will be the same as for any other age group, and emphasises:
- Healthy lifestyle changes such as getting plenty of exercise and having good nutrition
- General supportive counselling to help them sort out practical problems and conflicts, and to understand the reasons for their illness
- Psychological interventions to help them understand their thoughts, behaviour and interpersonal relationships
- Medications that may reduce or eliminate symptoms such as depressed feelings, restore normal sleep patterns and appetite, and reduce anxiety
The involvement of families and carers is considered pivotal in the planning of care.
The Seniors Service offers expert assessment and care in an inpatient setting for individuals over the age of 50 years living with yet to be diagnosed cognitive (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering) difficulties.
A coordinated holistic approach to assessment ensures that the unique needs of individuals living with cognitive difficulties are addressed. The provision of a diagnosis and the development of a treatment plan are deemed a priority.
- Person not already known to have dementia
- Person experiencing cognitive difficulties over a period of months or years
- Person has complex and/or co-morbid conditions (e.g. coexisting mental health concerns)
- Person is medically stable
We provide support, further education and linkages to appropriate services for both individuals and their families/carers. Our holistic approach ensures that the unique needs of individuals living with cognitive difficulties are addressed.
We also offer continuing outpatient treatment and support as well as a comprehensive management plan that is made available to the person’s doctor on discharge.
Day Programs are specifically designed for individuals who would benefit from ongoing or interim support for a mental health condition.
The aim of the Seniors Day Program is to provide emotional support, psycho-education and skills training, to assist older persons to optimise their functioning and enjoy a fulfilled life.
Structured groups include:
- Cognitive activities focused on memory and concentration, decision making and problem solving
- Exploring issues relevant to the older person (including aging, retirement, isolation, adjusting to loss and change)
- Developing and maintaining older person’s wellness, remaining active (including falls prevention), accessing community support and maximising independence in social and domestic settings
- Stress management, mindfulness, relaxation training and anxiety management strategies
The aim of Outreach is to provide community based clinical assessment and therapeutic support, to assist older patients to manage their illness and maintain an optimal level of health at home.
Enquiries and Referrals
For all enquiries about accessing the Seniors Service at Albert Road Clinic please call 03 9256 8322.
Private health insurance is recommended and a referral from your psychiatrist or general practitioner is required.
Download the brochure