Improved management of medical illnesses with new technologies and medications has resulted longer lives for in those with diseases that previously led to early death. People are now able to live with chronic diseases which prolong their life.
The following information demonstrates how rapidly our population is aging:
"The older population--persons 65 years or older--numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030." (Dept of Health and Human Services statistics web site).
So in the next 8 years older Americans will represent about one in every five in the US population. While many will still have the interest and motivation to do things they always did, many will experience physical limitations that reduce their ability to do many of the things they enjoyed when younger. In addition to the loss of physical ability, as people live longer they experience other losses such as death of spouses, children and friends, and loss of income. These take their toll and serve as stresses that can lead to emotional distress, frustration, depression and disability. Many who had many plans for retirement and wanted to maintain independence sometimes have no choice but to live in a Residential Care Facility or Nursing Home.
Alzheimer's disease remains a progressive disease with no cure and causes an otherwise physically healthy person to become dependent on others to care for them. Those who care for their loved one is at high risk for depression, anxiety, fatigue, isolation and stress- related physical illness.
The good news is that modern psychiatry and psychology have effective treatments for many of the psychiatric illnesses that befall the elderly- illnesses that not that long ago led to chronic disability. New pharmaceuticals for depression, anxiety, insomnia, and psychosis can reduce distress and give people a higher quality of life, keeping them independent for years to come. Medications for Alzheimer's disease can slow the progress of the disease enabling many to wait longer before losing independence.
Depression sometimes can lead to disability in otherwise physically healthy people. Some older people cannot tolerate certain psychiatric medications because they interact with existing physical disease states or medication needed for medical illness. Our staff uses a computerized medical record that uses modern technology to avoid medication interactions whenever possible so that optimal treatment can be prescribed.
Midlands Psychiatry Associates also offers a novel FDA approved technology (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS) for serious depressions. It is a non-invasive, non-medication treatment that can restore depressed people to a quality life they once enjoyed.
TMS treatment is discussed elsewhere on this web site. It consists of sitting in a comfortable chair and receiving magnetic pulses to the brain that cause chemical changes in the part of the brain that controls mood. Through this treatment modality, there are changes in brain chemicals that affect mood, interest, energy, appetite, and sleep. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy that requires anesthesia and can lead to temporary memory loss, TMS requires no anesthesia and causes no memory loss. The patient is awake during the procedure and can talk, listen to music or nap if they wish. Patients can drive in for the treatment and drive home afterward.
Many professional staff at Midlands Psychiatry Associates are very experienced and provide a variety of effective treatments for those in the older age range. Treatment is provided in a professional, confidential, respectful way. A person's spiritual life is respected and supported. Dignity is of paramount importance to the staff who you will find friendly and compassionate.