Rise in Emergency Room Visits May Signal Geriatric Mental Health Crisis

A study presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2011 Annual Meeting shows a 30% increase over 1 year in geriatric psychiatric visits that included longer length of stays.

Typical scenarios that are becoming more common in the psychiatric ED include elderly patients being dropped off by exhausted or “desperate” caregivers or family members who need respite and nursing home patients who have been discharged because of dangerous or combative behavior, said Dr. Lu. In addition, in Hawaii there is a growing problem of homeless elderly, who often end up in the psychiatric ED because they exhibit socially inappropriate behavior.

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Posted in: Aging in Place

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