Lesley Ann Waldron

Lesley Ann Waldron

A significantly small number of elderly people are being admitted to the Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) of the Princess Margaret Hospital, according to Social Worker, Lesley Ann Waldron.

In her presentation at the opening ceremony of a training workshop for caregivers Waldron said “in 2012-2013 we combined all our admissions and we saw that only 26 people or 4% of our admissions were within the age 60 so we are seeing those of us under 60 are the ones utilizing the unit.”

Waldron added that 62% of elderly patients were female while only 38% were male.  She said that it has been proven that females suffer from more mood disorders than males. These disorders include depression and most of the females admitted to the mental health institution are as result of such disorders.

“In 2012 where we had 11 females we had only 3 males and so far for 2013, we have had more males than females but the difference is not as significant as we saw in 2012. We have had 7 males and 5 females.”

According to Waldron, more males suffer from psychotic disorders while there are more females with mood disorders.

“6 females were admitted for mood disorders whereas we had only one male for the past two years. Also one female for substance abuse and no males and one female for dementia.”

She also said that the Psychiatric Unit tries to avoid admitting patients who suffer from dementia since they have already lost some of their cognition, get confused and are unsure of where they are. Thus, they may become harmful to themselves and others.

“When we have people coming in with dementia we try to give them different techniques and strategies to keep them at home instead of admitting them at the psychiatric unit.”

This workshop is being held as part of activities for World Health Day.