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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2007 Nov;20(6):533-8.

Psychogeriatric services in the community and in long-term care facilities: needs and developments.

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  • 1Discipline of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. jsnowdon@mail.usyd.edu.au



An increasing proportion of the world's population is over the age of 65 years. Specialist mental health services for older people have been developed in many countries. The way services develop depends partly on how healthcare arrangements have evolved in that jurisdiction, as well as on finances, culture and attitudes towards elderly and disabled individuals. Health planners in developing countries recognize that considerable increases in their elderly populations and numbers of individuals with disability are imminent. It will be important to ensure that older people with mental disorders receive appropriate treatment. This review discusses recent findings and observations about psychogeriatric services in the community and in long-term care facilities, and aims to suggest how to improve or develop such services.


The prevalence of mental disorders in long-term care facilities is high, but services to deal with them are usually not optimal. When appropriately staffed and organized, community psychogeriatric services, day care and collaborative care can be effective in reducing mental health problems and preventing admissions.


Recent reviews and research have provided useful guidance regarding aspects of current psychogeriatric services that work well and those that need to be improved. A person-centred approach is favoured.

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