Geriatric Mental Health Outreach Team

By Humber River Health

Psychogeriatrics is defined as a branch of “psychiatry concerned with behavioral and emotional disorders among the elderly.” This specific subspecialty was recognized officially in 2009 and will become increasingly important as the years go on. Mostly because the world’s population is aging –and it’s aging fast. The number of adults over 60 is expected to reach one billion by 2020. And while the older population is to be celebrated, it will also require new approaches to healthcare.

Humber River Health’s Geriatric Mental Health Outreach Team (GMHOT) is one approach to helping seniors. The team’s goal is to provide at-home care for seniors who live in nursing homes. This, in turn, decreases the burden of emergency room visits or hospitalization for those patients. Referrals are accepted for a wide range of psychiatric disorders including mood disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. Referrals are also accepted for seniors suffering solely from dementia- who sometimes exhibit behavior that can put them or others at risk.

The team thoroughly assesses patients before communicating results and treatment plans with nursing home staff. The objective of the treatment plan is to stabilize patients so they maintain quality of life in their own environment. The team also provides education, additional referrals and links to community and health care resources

The GMHOT serves residents of sixteen predetermined Long Term Care Homes within the Humber River Health/ North York General Hospital catchment area.