There are currently 27 million people over 65 in the United States and this number will double in the next 50 years. This will confront psychiatrists and other physicians with the care of many elderly patients with dementia. These patients will often require hospitalization when ill because their mental, physical, and social functioning tends to break down at once, overwhelming families and outpatient physicians. Once hospitalized, they require accurate diagnoses, multidisciplinary care, and planning for rehabilitation from the on set of the hospitalization. However, dementia is often undiagnosed and untreated in university hospitals as well as in primary care clinics and nursing homes. The consequences of this are limited prospects for clinical improvement and the likelihood of further decline.
Rovner, M.D., Barry
"Evaluation and Treatment of Demented Elderly,"
Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry:
1, Article 9.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jeffjpsychiatry/vol10/iss1/9