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Addressing the needs of older people with co‐morbid alcohol and mental health disorders: a case series from a London Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)

Tresa Andrews (Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist, Westminster Older Adult Psychology and Psychotherapy Services, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
Leena Reddy (Specialty Doctor, North Westminster CMHT for Older Adults, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
Paul Whelan (Consultant Psychiatrist Older Adults, North Westminster CMHT for Older Adults, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 21 February 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Despite older adult community mental health team (CMHT) workers inevitably encountering service users with alcohol use disorders (AUDs), they have a limited evidence base for working with this group. This paper aims to argue against a wholesale transfer of knowledge and practices from working age adults with dual diagnosis to the older age group.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper aims to address the scant attention given to the needs of older service users with a dual diagnosis by detailing the progress of four older adult service users with AUDs in a CMHT.

Findings

This case study series illuminates some of the clinical and professional dilemmas and challenges encountered when working with this group. Suggestions of how to respond to some of these challenges are provided by focussing on aspects of identification, assessment and treatment.

Originality/value

This paper provides a catalyst to further discussion, debate and publications on the issue of older people misusing alcohol by presenting and reflecting on the issues raised by four practice vignettes.

Keywords

Citation

Andrews, T., Reddy, L. and Whelan, P. (2011), "Addressing the needs of older people with co‐morbid alcohol and mental health disorders: a case series from a London Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 8-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570971111155577

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited