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The needs for assistance, support and treatment of older people with severe mental illnesses (SMI) are very high and linked to additional age-associated somatic diseases and impairments. Old people prefer to live independently in their own homes and to receive necessary treatment and support there; however, a resettlement in a residential nursing home is often necessary due to a lack of alternatives. What is the current treatment reality in Germany for old people with SMI in their own homes and in residential nursing homes? How can coercive measures in this context be prevented? Selected results from the scientific literature on psychogeriatric care models in older people with SMI are summarized and discussed. Multiprofessional psychogeriatric complex treatment models for older patients that include home visits and are adapted to the severity of mental disease are not available in Germany due to the lack of cross-sectoral network structures. Around 30% of the 730,000 nursing home residents in Germany experience coercive practices, whereas person-centered nursing concepts as well as guideline conform and individualized nonpharmacological treatment strategies and milieu therapeutic concepts are not sufficiently available. The German healthcare system is in urgent need of multiprofessional psychogeriatric home treatment models in old people with severe mental illness in order to prevent worsening of psychiatric and somatic symptoms, to maintain individual social involvement, to strengthen individual autonomy and participative decision making and to protect from coercion. Multiprofessional expertise is essential as well as effective age-appropriate service models with multiprofessional teams delivering domiciliary visits and connecting complementary services for individual treatment requirements as part of the German health care system. © 2021. Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.


Vjera Holthoff-Detto, André Nienaber, Nora Bötel, Michael Rapp. Complex treatment of severe mental illnesses in old age]. Der Nervenarzt. 2021 Sep;92(9):948-954

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PMID: 34142165

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