Psychiatry of Old Age

Subject PSYT90004 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 18.75
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 01-Feb-2016 to 02-May-2016
Assessment Period End 02-May-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 19-Feb-2016
Census Date 19-Feb-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 01-Apr-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 weeks x 3.5-hour seminars
Total Time Commitment:

250 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Mahesh Jayaram


Administrative contact:

Victoria Kingsley

Subject Overview:

This subject is a continuation of Adult Psychiatry I. The inital 2 sessions will be a continuation of the curriculum for Adult Psychiatry I and include the topics of depressive disorders, mid-life and late middle-age. The remaining ten sessions will focus on psychiatry of old age and will attempt to influence the attitudes of the students with regard to ageing in a positive mannner and in particular to approach the aged in clinical practice with compassion, patience and an awareness of their needs. The old age component of the unit will address the interaction of ageing and mental health, epidemiological and demographical aspects of ageing in Australia and worldwide, the social construction of ageing, individual experiences of ageing, ageing and mental health of indigenous Australians, physical and psychological consequences of ageing, falimies and ageing, sexuality and ageing, death and dying, common cognitive and functional disorders in the elderly, physical health, pharmacology and ageing and service provision to the elderly with a mental illness.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the common psychiatric syndromes which affect older people, their presentation, differential diagnosis, assessment, basic management and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate the skills to interview older persons effectively and to assess their mental state with particular reference to cognitive function.
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary to manage the common psychiatric disorders affecting older people and the sensitivity to the social milieu in which the aged person lives with particular reference to the need to support and assist carers of older persons with psychiatric disorders.
  • Discuss the range of services available to assist older people with mental health problems in Australia and the way these services are likely to develop in the future.
  • Describe the experience of ageing as lived in Australia together with the social, societal and personal implications of the ageing process.
  • Utilise appropriate referral to other specialists and services (both medical and social) for older people.
  • Oral presentation as part of a series of related presentations and discussion, 15 mins, duing weeks 2 - 9 [40%]
  • Written essay on psychiatry of old age, 2000 words, end of semester [60%]
  • Hurdle requirement: Fieldwork - either: 2 RANZCP Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs) by workplace supervisors (approx 90mins each or longer depending on competency) OR 2 Workplace Practical Activity Log sheets (WPALs) to be taken away and then checked by the subject coordinator after submission
  • Hurdle requirement: Written essay - reflective piece on capstone experience, 1000 words, end of semester
  • Hurdle requirement: 75% attendance of sessions (for face to face students) OR 75% completion of online modules (for online students)
Prescribed Texts:

Jacoby & Oppenheimer (2002) Psychiatry in the Elderly, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition.

Henderson S. & Jorm F. (1998) Dementia in Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service.

Lishman, A. (1997) Organic Psychiatry, 3rd Edition Blackwell.

Recommended Texts:

Burns A., O'Brien J. T. and Ames D. (2005) Dementia (3rd edition), Hodder

Evans & Williams, Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine, Oxford University Press

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Psychiatry
Master of Psychiatry

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