Among the most frustrating challenges for any health care professional are treating and alleviating the distress of an agitated patient with dementia -- especially compelling in the midst of today's unprecedented population explosion among adults over age 65. For the first time ever, people age 85 and older represent the fastest-growing segment of our population.
As we find ways to meet this challenge, we are also transforming how we think about aging. Instead of the pejorative term "senility," which implies that simply to be old is to be infirm, we refer to the ABCs of geriatric psychiatry: disturbances in (A)ffect, (B)ehavior, and (C)ognition, which are not normal at any age.
This compact volume addresses (B)ehavior. This remarkable monograph offers practical direction on assessing and managing agitation in patients with dementia. It identifies and diagnoses the multiple types of agitation in dementia patients. It also explains how to look for and treat the underlying medical etiologies, and recommends treatment and management techniques -- everything from epidemiology and neurochemistry to behavior assessment scales, medications, psychotherapy, and bright light therapy. Furthermore, this encouraging work shows that successful outcomes -- with response rates as high as 70% -- can be achieved with a systemic approach, involving both patient and caregiver, that includes cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, and reminiscence therapies.
This book will appeal to a wide audience of geriatric psychiatrists, primary care physicians and internists, general practitioners, nurses, social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, and mental health care workers and practitioners.