Best Practices in Geriatric Psychiatry and Long Term Care

Live event was held Monday, April 22, 2013, 1:30 pm Eastern Time 
(Second in the Mental Health and Aging Training Initiative, Series II*)

As residents in long term care facilities are living longer  the incidence of dementia and other mental health issues has been increasing.  Thus, long term care and skilled nursing centers have been faced with new and more complicated challenges.  There is a need to develop skills beyond those of “basic custodial care” which require problem solving abilities as well as the willingness and ability to implement creative interventions.  

The Geriatric Mental Health Planning Partnership, in collaboration with the VCU Department of Gerontology and the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health is organizing the next in a series of webinars dedicated to “Mental Health and Aging Training.” The first three topics were offered in the spring of 2012 and can now be accessed from this site (see right column). The next three webinars in this series are being offered March, April and May of this year. These webinars are focused on interventions to reduce the use of psychotropic medications, best practices in geriatric psychiatry, and the temporary detention order process. Experts in aging and behavioral health, both within Virginia and outside of Virginia have been selected to lead these webinars.


This presentation was intended for staff from many levels, disciplines and settings ( both acute care and long term care).  Attendees included, behavioral health staff, nurse practitioners, nurses, CNAs, Nursing Home Administrators, Social Workers and Case Manages from both Acute and Long term care. 



At the end of this one-hour presentation, participants will learn:
  1. A model for how geriatric psychiatry and telemedicine can help facilities to more successfully address the behavioral health needs of their residents, including discussion of cost/reimbursement issues.

The live event is open to all and free for all. 

Attendees are required to have a computer with access to high speed internet (to view the slide presentation) and computer speakers OR access to a telephone.  Additional information is provided through the registration form.

The webinar (desktop sharing coupled with audio) requires attendees to have:

PC-based attendees
Required: Windows(R) 8, 7, Vista XP or 2003 Server

Mac(R)-based attendees
Required: Mac OS(R) X 10.6 or newer

Mobile Attendees
Required: iPhone(R), iPad(R), Android(TM) phone or Android tablet

For the audio portion, the attendees can connect via their computer's speakers or telephone.

This event is made possible through a grant from the Virginia Center on Aging's Geriatric Training Education Initiative and supported by the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health, the Virginia Geriatric Mental Health Partnership* and the VCU's Department of Gerontology.




Erin M. Morrison, MD, is a psychiatrist with the PHS Health Solutions.  She received her BS in Biology from University of North Florida in 1998 and MD from the University of South Florida College Of Medicine in 2002.  Dr. Morrison completed her internship and residency in Psychiatry at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio through a joint program between Wright State University and the United States Air Force.  Dr. Morrison was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the USAF in 1998.  After completing her residency, Dr. Morrison served as the staff psychiatrist at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina.  She also served a as the chief psychiatrist at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan for 6 months in 2008 and 2009.  Dr. Morrison finished her military service as a Major in 2010.  Dr. Morrison has been certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology since 2008. 

After completing her military service, Dr. Morrison focused her practice on adult and geriatric psychiatry treating Virginia’s severely mentally ill population.  In 2011, Dr. Morrison moved to Texas with her military spouse and began working at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Antonio, Texas while continuing her practice in geriatric psychiatry through Paradigm Health Services.


E. Ayn Welleford, MSG, PhD, AGHEF, received her BA in Management/Psychology from Averett College, MS in Gerontology and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Adult Development and Aging, Geropsychology, and Aging & Human Values.

As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the caregiving and long term care continuum. As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU’s Department of Gerontology, she currently works to “Improve Elder Care through Education” through her Teaching, scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission. Dr. Welleford is the proud recipient of the 2008 AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award.





To download slides, please click on the download button above/below - this will save the file on your machine.  To find the file, open your "Download" folder or wherever you had set your computer to save the file.



The Geriatric Mental Health Partnership (GMHP) is an informal, voluntary group which focuses on geriatric mental/ behavioral health care. The group began in 2007 in response to the challenges of difficult behaviors of elderly residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities. Participants of the GMHP include representatives from mental/ behavioral health, aging services, and long-term care professionals representing the private, public and academic sectors. Organizations represented include the Virginia Health Care Association; the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association; the Virginia Association of Nonprofit Homes for the Aging; various Community Services Boards (CSB); State agencies including the Department of Medical Assistance Services; Department of Social Services Department of Health; Department for the Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman; Department of Corrections; Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; Piedmont Geriatric Hospital; Eastern State Hospital; the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health (CEAGH), the College of William & Mary; Eastern Virginia Medical School; Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Gerontology; Long-Term Care Facility Providers (e.g., nursing homes); and Behavioral Health Consultants.

The GMHP has worked tirelessly to improve communication and service coordination between the mental/ behavioral health and long-term care systems, so that older adults are able to receive needed care in a timely manner in the most appropriate setting. One of the key obstacles the group has identified is a lack of relevant training for facility and community staff. In order for seniors in long-term care facilities to receive timely and appropriate mental health treatment, staff members need to understand the issues involved and the procedures necessary to address and implement appropriate treatment. Traditionally, staff persons in long-term care facilities have received training which was more focused on the daily care and clinical needs of residents. Meanwhile, the staff at the local CSBs (individuals usually involved in psychiatric hospitalization of these older adults) have traditionally focused on behavioral health issues common to adults and children, without specialized training regarding the geriatric mental health issues more common to seniors residing in long term care facilities.

The GMHP has identified six key training issues important for developing a workforce prepared to effectively address the behavioral health needs of the growing aging population.  Three of them are part of the current series titled "Mental Health and Aging Training Initiative":

  1. Behavioral Disturbances of Dementia: Interventions to Reduce the Use of Psychotropic Medications
  2. Best Practices in Geriatric Psychiatry and Long Term Care
  3. The Temporary Detention Order (TDO) Process: What Staff Need to Know.

The current webinar is the second in the series described above.


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