More and more individuals are experiencing difficulties with depression, dementia and medications. If your family member has behaviors that are making caring for them difficult, the first step is to consult the family physician who then may refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist for a medication and behavioral review. Depending on where you live, actually finding a psychologist or psychiatrist who accepts insurance or is accepting new patients may be difficult. There are many excellent practitioners who have stopped accepting insurance because of low reimbursements, and legally an ethical practitioner who does not accept insurance cannot privately accept a client who has Medicare and allow them to pay privately. This can make it nearly impossible to access treatment. How do you work around this? If your physician knows a good geriatric psychologist, this person can provide an evaluation and then work with the physician to discuss medication options. Sometimes a neurologist is also willing to do this. However there may be a time when the situation is unmanageable and it’s time to consider an inpatient admission to a geriatric psychiatric ward for evaluation. While this may seem like a scary alternative, sometimes it’s the best option to provide care for an individual needing psychiatric treatment and medication management.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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