Elderly filling Alaska Psychiatric Institute

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010

ANCHORAGE- Officials say one of the reasons Alaska's state mental hospital is nearly always full with up to 80 patients is the number of elderly.

Medical Director Dr. Jenny Love said many have no history of mental illness, but they are arriving at the Anchorage hospital because of delusions or disturbing behavior associated with Alzheimer's or other dementia.

Hospital chief executive Ron Adler told the Anchorage Daily News there's a gap in services for the elderly. He said the hospital also is seeing more developmentally disabled patients, whose cases are complex.

The state is looking into adding space for mental health treatment around the state for the elderly and developmentally disabled, Adler said.

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