Older people with chronic schizophrenia.
Older people with chronic schizophrenia are a numerically small but important group with complex clinical and service needs. Along with a reduction in positive schizophrenic symptoms with increasing age, a majority suffer from negative symptoms, cognitive deficits, depression, side effects due to long-term use of antipsychotics and co-morbid medical problems. They may have social disabilities making them vulnerable to poverty, isolation and poor quality of life. Evidence suggests that judicious use of antipsychotics combined with psychotherapy and psychosocial interventions are effective. There are shortcomings in the standard of both hospital and community care, and the cost implications of providing adequate services are high.