Compassionate Care for Elders, At Home or At the Office
Geriatric psychiatry integrates psychiatry, medicine, and neurology in the care of the elderly. We offer clinical support to address mood and behavior challenges for the older adults you love. Dr. Kamholz’s approach is very broad based, and when working with patients and families, she uses her significant therapeutic expertise, her psychodynamic understanding of human conflict and need, and her considerable knowledge and experience with psychopharmacology for the elderly.
Because Dr. Kamholz recognizes that it is often very difficult for elders or their caretakers to get out of their home or institution for office visits, either due to mobility or emotional problems, she routinely performs home visits.
Unfortunately, Dr. Kamholz does not accept Medicare.
About Barbara Kamholz, MD
Dr. Kamholz is a geriatric and consultation psychiatrist who does home and office visits in Marin county, Sonoma county, and San Francisco. She specializes in dementia, delirium, and mood disorders, as well as complex cognitive disorders in the elderly.
Dr. Kamholz did postgraduate training at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Georgetown University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed her geriatric psychiatry fellowship in 1989. She is internationally recognized in the field of delirium and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Duke University, and the University of California at San Francisco over a 25 year span.
1000 4th St. Suite 440
San Rafael, CA 94901
📞 (415) 730-7731
📠 (415) 888-2452
Areas of Specialty
Delirium is the acute decompensation of brain function due to an overwhelming systemic medical problem, or due to a medication effect. It can present quietly; the person will appear preoccupied and very difficult to communicate with, and with decreased awareness of their environment. It can also present much more actively, with agitation, restlessness, fearfulness, and physical aggression.
The term “dementia” implies a progressive decrease from prior, baseline cognitive function. By age 85 years and older, between 25% and 50% of people will exhibit some signs of cognitive loss. Common types of dementia include Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, Parkinson’s Dementia, and Lewy Body Dementia.
Anxiety disorders are nearly as common as depression in the elderly. They contribute to difficulties coping, excessive fears, and increased dependency on others. They are often associated with physical complaints and concerns. They can be treated with psychotherapy, mindfulness, meditation, and medication.
Depression in the elderly is common, but highly treatable with therapy or medication. It can impact function and cognition in significant ways, and it most often worsens the experience of pain. It also requires careful, frequent followup and can take more time than that needed with younger patients. There is no reason that older people can’t respond as well as younger people when given proper treatment and followup.
The term “cognition” includes all areas of the brain that enable us to think, adapt, and function. Cognitive assessment involves a multimodal approach to testing that includes review of functional components, such as behavior and ability to care for one’s needs.
Adaptation of the family to psychiatric issues of the elderly
The loss of function and cognition of elderly relatives is most often a very distressing, disorienting process for friends and family. Sadness, anger, and demoralization are very common reactions. Those in the position of primary caregiver are subject to significant amounts of depression or even suicidal ideation. Dr. Kamholz includes work with families in this context.