Vancouver Older Adult Mental Health and Addiction Services

Older Adult Program



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Program Description:

These are comprised of interdiscplinary teams (psychiatrists, geriatricians, general practitioners, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists) who work in consultation with the client’s primary care physician. The members of the teams have specialized knowledge about gerontology, geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry. Assessment will always involve the patient’s own physician who is familiar with the patient’s physical health and medications. Assessments usually occur in thepatients’s residence and in collaboration with the patient]’s family and supporting agencies. The appropriateness and safety of the residence forms part of the assessment. Interviews with collateral sources are considered essential. Treatment or Intervention may be carried out by the team staff or treatment recommendations may be made to the referring source, such as physician, facility referring staff, family member or other caregiver(s).  Rehabilitation is provided individually and/or through The Bright Spot Rehabilitation Day Program. Education is provided to primary caregivers by team members and includes service to family physicians, facility staff and family members.

Target patients:

1. Individuals age 65 years and older who meet one or more of the following criteria, and require the services of a specialized multidisciplinary mental health team who:
Have recently developed a serious mental illness (such as a mood disorder or psychotic illness);
Have a dementia with associated psychiatric and/or severe behavior management problems;
Have chronic and severe mental illness and significant medical problems that complicate their psychiatric treatment. These clients may be accepted for specialized mental health assessment or consultation and followed for a longer period if the complexity of the case indicates the need.

2. Individuals under 65 years old who have a dementing disorder with associated psychiatric and/or severe behavior management problems and require the services of a specialized multidisciplinary mental health team.

Individuals who meet the criteria of this mandate and have accompanying substance abuse issues are to be considered for assessment by the mental health team or the Dual Diagnosis Program.