Our mental well-being is directly connected with our overall physical health. A psychiatric practitioner will perform an initial checkup similar to what a primary care provider might do. This checkup, called an assessment, includes an overview of your symptoms and a determination of whether or not medication is a good option. Where our primary care colleagues address more physical aspects of treatment, we utilize discussion to get to the root of behavioral health needs of our seniors.

Gagne Behavioral Health Care offers medication management for seniors that helps them to determine the right pharmaceuticals for their complex health needs. Based on a thorough psychiatric assessment, a diagnosis is made and a treatment plan is designed with the patient at the center. If it’s in the patient’s best interests, medications will be discussed and education will be provided on the actions, uses, and side effects of the suggested medication options. When a medication and treatment option is agreed upon, the medication is prescribed for a trial period to observe the effectiveness. This is the “medication management,” aspect of psychiatric care. We monitor the effectiveness of medication over a course of time to determine if the treatment meets the patient’s goals. Due to how psychiatric medications react differently within a patient’s brain chemistry, the effectiveness of the medications may vary from person to person. Every individual is unique. Medications for older adults are often utilized at the same time as other forms of treatment such as counseling, life management skills, and/or behavioral therapies. Through careful monitoring, medication management, and ongoing discussion we find the right medication and treatment plan to improve the patient’s mental health.

The use of prescription medications for older adults introduces potential risks and side effects, as with any medication. These are all discussed in detail, and weighed against the benefits of the medications, with each patient. Not all patients and not all psychiatric problems need medicines, but there are certainly instances where prescription medicines are the best treatment available to relieve a patient’s suffering. Medication management for seniors is an important and effective part of treatment for behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of dementia including depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood lability, psychomotor agitation, apathy, physical aggression and many others.

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