Dementia and other late-life conditions in neuropsychiatry impose a heavy burden onsociety as a whole and in families in particular. A number of clinical presentations involvingfamily aspects may be seen in clinical practice in a range of diagnoses (Alzheimer'sdisease, other dementias, depression or any other psychiatric disorder in the elderly).As a consequence, there is a growing trend towards working with families in geriatricpsychiatry. Marital issues are not a frequent target for specific clinical intervention, butcouple therapy may be useful regardless of age.The effectiveness of family systems therapy has not been widely evaluated inpsychogeriatrics, so far. However, it may be a powerful resource when family dynamicsmust be addressed, mostly in families where dysfunctional circularities precede theoutburst of severe clinical problems. More often, family psychoeducation will be the firstindication, in different formats, settings and levels of intensity. However, context readingand systemically-informed work are not restricted to classical family therapy and do notimply it. Is has been suggested that family psychoeducation should sometimes include astronger family systems perspective.Structured and feasible family assessments should always precede interventions. Indeed,they are a first step of the intervention itself, while necessarily reviewed through the course of family work.Ageism perhaps still influences to some extent health professionals' attitudes, includingthe ones of family therapists, leading to the underutilization of family approaches in theelderly. However, working with families remains a core process in geriatric.
|Translated title of the contribution||Family work in geriatric Psychiatry|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Acta medica portuguesa|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|