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Objectives: To review the literature on older people with enduring or recurrent severe mental illness with an onset earlier than 65 years (graduates) and, in particular, to look at the specific features and needs of this group.
Method: A Medline literature search produced 41 relevant papers and reports on the subject.
Results: There are a substantial number of older people with severe mental illness and the number will rise in line with increased longevity. As they age these patients' psychiatric disabilities are compounded by medical and social problems. The move to community based care has largely ignored the needs of graduates who were previously cared for in psychiatric institutions.
Conclusion: There is an urgent need to plan and develop adequate services for this vulnerable group.
Objectives: There has been no specific planning for older people with enduring or recurrent severe mental illness in Ireland. This survey aims to identify the number of affected over 65 year olds (graduates) and 55-64 year olds (prospective graduates) in the Health Service Executive, Eastern Region, their diagnoses and their use of psychiatric services.
Method: A comprehensive survey of the ten general adult psychiatry and four old age psychiatry services in the (HSE) Eastern Region was undertaken for the year 2003 to determine the number of patients, their diagnoses and service utilisation.
Results: 649 people over 65 years old were identified within the general adult psychiatry services and a further 279 within the old age psychiatry services giving a total of 928. (This number rose to 1141 after correcting for missing outpatient data.) 1,397 people between the ages of 55-64 were identified. (This number rose to 1,916 after correcting for missing outpatient data.)
Conclusions: There are substantial numbers of ‘graduates’ and ‘prospective graduates’ in the Eastern Region. It is essential that services for this population are specifically planned for and further qualitative research is required to inform this process.
When Presbyterian iconoclasts tumbled the Ruthwell Cross in 1642 they inflicted irreparable damage on one of the great monuments of Anglo-Saxon art and, unwittingly, provided scholars with boundless opportunities for discussion about how the Cross originally looked. Attempts to reconstruct and interpret the imagery and inscriptions have become a staple of scholarly endeavour. New evidence about its early appearance, therefore, is likely to be of some value. This note presents some eighteenth-century drawings of the Cross, until now unpublished, that survive in the library of the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. They have the merit of illustrating all the fragments of the Cross that were known in 1788. And in a modest way they supplement our information about the Cross before it deteriorated further under inclement Scottish skies in the hundred years prior to its reinstallation in the church at Ruthwell in 1887.
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