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GERIATRIC WARD PSYCHIATRY Techniques in the Psychological Management of Elderly Psychotics
RAPHAEL GINZBERG
Am J Psychiatry 1953;110:296-300.
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Senior Physician in charge of geriatrics program, V. A. Hospital, Tomah, Wisconsin.

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Abstract

1. Mental and intellectual deterioration are typical for psychoses in advanced life. Thus, an approach based on logical argumentation fails to facilitate contact with the elderly psychotic.2. The emotional sphere is often not so much affected as the intellectual. Therefore, any therapeutic technique in treatment and psychological management of elderly psychotics has to be based primarily on the utilization of preserved emotional faculties, among them the preserved or only partly impaired ability for group identification.3. Psychological management and treatment based on these principles is divided into the following 4 phases: Group occupational therapy; group and individual psychotherapy; training in self-care both inside, and in case of release, outside the hospital; adjustment of the elderly psychotic to the environment and adjustment of the immediate environment to the elderly person.4. This program, which is already in action, takes care of the reversible psychological symptoms but not of the irreversible pathophysiological ones.5. Although still in an experimental stage, the program opens the way for a more satisfactory management of elderly psychotics. The use of the methods described has therefore been advocated.

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