Integrated Care of Older Adults with Mental Disorders RESOURCE DOCUMENT
Approved by the Joint Reference Committee, January 2009
Elderly persons often have complex medical and psychiatric needs for which the input of different medical specialties and clinical disciplines is required. The involvement of multiple specialists gives patients access to greater expertise than any single clinician could provide; however, it presents significant challenges of coordination and integration of health care. We endorse the ideal of providing wellcoordinated interdiscipli-nary treatment to older Americans with psychiatric and medical problems but recognize that this ideal is not easily or often fully realized. In this document, we provide a brief review of the problem and describe a number of models that seek to provide exemplary care to elderly persons with psychiatric and medical problems by mobilizing and integrating the input of multiple specialties and clinical disciplines. We conclude with recommendations for policy, services design, and training.