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In an ageing society the wellbeing, mental health care and end-of-life management of the ageing, and older people with mental illness is a priority faced by medical practitioners within a range of practice settings. The developmental perspective shifts within this unit as students focus from adulthood to later life and beyond in relation to the ongoing needs of older consumers with mental illness, their partners, carers and families.
Using the CanMEDS domains of Collaborator and Health Advocate students will challenge ageism and the stigma associated with age in continuing an ethically-based, recovery–oriented approach to collaborative mental health care with older people. Students will learn about ongoing neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative changes that occur in later life and extend their collaborative practice skills and knowledge in psychiatry for the older person.
In exploring the experiences of older people, students will explore symptoms of specific conditions including affective disorders, psychoses and dementia. They will extend their skills into neuropsychiatric assessment, applied imaging and investigations, advocacy, assessment and management of challenging behaviours and the development of effective communication skills. Students will also explore suicide in older people and the legal aspects related to decision-making.