Monday, November 25, 2013

Wow! You have to read this! It's very interesting!

Mental Illness in Seniors Hits Healthcare System Hard
Aging adults with mental illness have significantly higher rates of healthcare utilization than their mentally healthy peers, new research shows.

An analysis of comorbidity levels and healthcare utilization in older adults with lifelong, serious mental illness shows that these patients have higher rates of emergency care, longer hospital stays, are more likely to fall, and have alcohol and substance abuse problems compared with mentally healthy control individuals.

"Our study illustrates the continuing vulnerability of seriously mentally ill patients as they grow older," Hugh C. Hendrie, MB, ChB, DSc, geriatric psychiatrist and health services researcher from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine and Center for Aging Research, both in Indianapolis, told Medscape Medical News.

"An integrated healthcare system that addresses both their medical and psychosocial needs will be required to care for these patients whose numbers are increasing by the year," Dr. Hendrie added.
Iqbal "Ike" Ahmed, MD, geriatric psychiatrist from University of Hawaii and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, who was not involved in the study, agrees. "The older, and younger, mentally ill populations who often have comorbid medical and psychiatric illnesses beg for integrated care."