Helping you live your best life

Skip main navigation
Group Created with Sketch.

Need help

What can we help you find?

Related Search Terms

Related Search Results


Geriatric Psychiatry

As the “graying of America” continues, Geriatric Psychiatry has now become a specialty in its own right. Wherever it is practiced, Geriatric Psychiatry has overlapping frontiers and works in the closest partnership with other medical specialties and other disciplines, such as neurology and social work. The care of the elderly mentally ill has evolved to include active intervention and continued focus on prognosis and quality of life.

The VCU Medical Center's Geriatric Psychiatry Program is uniquely qualified to handle psychiatric disorders in the senior population - including the early stages of dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, anxiety and depression. From first detection, throughout diagnosis, treatment and follow up, each patient's multidisciplinary team consists of a geriatric psychiatrist, physician, neuropsychologist, nurse practitioner, social worker, dietitian, chaplain and pharmacist. These professions collaborate to ensure the highest possible quality of life for the patient. Our commitment to providing each patient with a continuity of care means that patients who require different levels of care throughout their illness enjoy a seamless transition.

Program Goals

The Geriatric Psychiatry program provides comprehensive, exceptional and compassionate psychiatric services to the area's older population, their families and support networks. We treat the whole person and not just symptoms. Our mission is to give patients and their families the opportunity to enjoy an optimal quality of life. Because elderly mental illness affects the entire family, we encourage questions and active participation by all family caregivers.

The Difference

The VCU Medical Center is an academic medical center and one of our primary responsibilities is to educate health care professionals. We take that commitment one step further by recognizing our obligation to educate patients and families. Understanding the disease process makes it easier for families to cope and for professional caregivers to react to challenges.

Our services dovetail with long-term care facilities and referring physicians throughout the metropolitan Richmond area to provide each patient and their family with maximum care management and support.

Holistic Approach To Care

Because dementia and depression can affect different parts of the brain, they can manifest throughout a patient’s body. Therefore, our approach to treating dementia and depression involves the whole patient - mind, body and spirit - and includes a multi-faceted team with the patient and family at the core supported by specialists, referring physicians, spiritual leaders and others.

Family-Oriented Care

Dealing with a slow progressive illness is overwhelming for most families. Our team of professionals understands the range of emotions - including fear, anxiety, sadness and uncertainty - experienced by family members when confronted with a loved one's dementia. Our approach to family-oriented support includes educating the family on the disease process and providing referral information for family counseling, medical management and spiritual guidance.

Medication Management

Studies show that, on average, elderly patients take 13 different medications each day. Our psychiatrists work with other practitioners to actively review each patient's pharmaceutical regimen to ensure the patient is not over-medicated or to reduce the likelihood of adverse side effects resulting from the use of multiple medications. Additionally, our team has specific expertise in new medications available for those with Alzheimer's Disease.

Professional Education

Our team provides on-site educational seminars on a variety of topics designed to help care providers work effectively and manage their stress.

We provide education to Geriatric Psychiatry Fellows, General Psychiatry Residents, Medical Students, Nurse Practitioner Students, Social Work Students, Gerontology Students and Chaplain Interns.

Inpatient Services

We provide an interdisciplinary team approach to care. Our services include:

  • Patient evaluation/daily follow-up
  • Consultations with specialists as needed
  • Chaplain services
  • Medication management
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Nurse- and social work-led family meetings

Outpatient Services

We recognize outpatient care as an opportunity to allow patients to remain at home as long as possible. Our services include:

  • Evaluations for memory loss, depression, anxiety and other psychiatric illnesses
  • Medication management
  • Follow-up care

Long Term Care

Our team interacts with families and staff to facilitate communication and manage expectations. We work collaboratively with senior independent living facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the metropolitan Richmond area. Our services include:

  • Comprehensive evaluation and follow-up
  • Medication management Psychotherapy
  • Family education and support
  • Nursing and staff support

Contact Information

For more information about these and other services available, call (804) 827-0717. We can also be reached by fax at (804) 828-4614.