The Geriatric Psychiatry Program at the Douglas Institute provides services to clients aged 65 and older and to adults younger than 65 with a geriatric profile.

The program covers psychiatric diagnoses such as:

  • mood disorders
  • anxiety disorders
  • impulsivity disorders
  • psychotic disorders
  • cognitive disorders including dementia

Services provided

The geriatric psychiatry program is organized in three types of services

  • Outpatient services: Evaluation-liaison team, Outpatient clinic and Transitional centre
  • Inpatient services: Admission and Medical Unit and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Unit
  • Program for Dementia with Psychiatric Comorbidity

Workshops for patients and their families

A series of five training workshops for family caregivers are offered by the PDPC to improve quality of care along with patient and caregiver well-being:

  1. Neuropsychological assessment (memory, dementia and related diseases)
  2. The natural caregiver
  3. Communication and activities
  4. Dementia-related behaviour
  5. Legal aspects: mandate, will, and power of attorney
  6. Safety at home and residential services

Cognitive Retraining

The Cognitive Retraining Program is a type of behaviour therapy that aims at improving neurocognitive function. This program is made up of three components (relaxation and Tai-Chi, memory and memorization strategies, and computer-aided stimulation) offered over twenty weeks.

Access to services

Access to the different services of the program requires a referral from a doctor, which must be sent to the evaluation-liaison team.

Clinical Research

Researcher Natasha Rajah, PhD, conducts various research projects in collaboration with the program teams on such topics as:

  • The role of biological markers of early cognitive impairment in the elderly (in collaboration with Vasavan Nair, MD)
  • The role of light therapy in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle
  • The effects of a multisensory approach (Snoezelen room) on difficult behaviours associated with dementia (in collaboration with psychologist Hildegard Brack, PhD)
  • The impact of cognitive retraining on the evolution dementia (in collaboration with clinical specialist nurse Céline Brunelle and neuropsychologist David Fontaine)
  • The development of a database at the Moe Levin Memory Clinic (in collaboration with Vasavan Nair, MD, and Dolly Dastoor, PhD)
  • The development of a fall risk assessment tool specifically for geriatric psychiatry patients, in collaboration with the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Unit team