The 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Vancouver, BC at the Hyatt Regency Hotel entitled “Crises in Geriatric Psychiatry: Perspectives from Emergency and Acute Care,” hosted in partnership with the British Columbia Psychogeriatric Association (BCPGA). Our profession is currently at a cross-road, and our ability to meet the mental health needs of the burgeoning population of older adults remains tenuous. This year’s meeting featured scientific and clinical perspectives on some of the urgent crises facing us at present. A panel presentation was given by past CAGP president Dr. Martha Donnelly and colleagues addressing the unique challenges that patients with dementia pose to acute care and emergency departments. The panel presented a novel academic approach to this problem that is being undertaken in BC, grounded in the experiences of front-line workers.
With obesity increasing at alarming rates in North America, and the sedentary lifestyles associated with late-life mental illness, the next crisis that this conference addressed was the role of exercise in mood and cognition in the elderly. This was the subject of a plenary presentation by Dr. Teresa Liu Ambrose, the CIHR-funded director of the “Aging, Mobility and Cognitive Function Lab” at UBC. Finally, scientific information about the treatment of mood disorders in older adults has been increasingly available, but incorporating this in practice has been more challenging. Dr. Raymond Lam, head of the division of clinical neuroscience at UBC presented on the most recent version of the CANMAT guidelines for mood disorders. Dr. Bonnie Wiese of the geriatric psychiatry outreach service at Vancouver General Hospital discussed how these guidelines match with earlier guidelines for mood disorder in the elderly and will critique the applicability of the CANMAT guidelines to clinical practice with older adults.
Martha Donnelly MD (University of British Columbia) Janet McElhaney MD (University of British Columbia) Marcia Carr RN (Fraser Health Older Adult Program) Crisis: Dementia in the Emergency Department and Acute Care
Teresa Liu-Ambrose PhD (University of British Columbia) A Role for Exercise in Mood and Cognition in the Elderly
Raymond Lam MD, Bonnie Weise MD (University of British Columbia) Mood Disorders: From Adult Guidelines to Geriatric Practice