Dr. Ashok Bharucha is a geriatric psychiatrist practicing in South Abington Township and Bloomsburg, PA. Dr. Bharucha specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, particularly in older adults. Patients who visit geriatric psychiatrists typically look for help with problems such as memory loss, depression, difficulty coping with change, stress, dementia, anxiety and more. Older adults may also experience emotional distress after being diagnosed with a disease as well. Dr. Bharucha helps patients after a comprehensive diagnostic exam so the root of their problems can be treated.
Education and Training
Bucknell University BA 1988
Penn State College of Medicine MD 1992
Harvard Medical School/McLean Adult psychiatry residency 1996
University of Washington SOM Geriatric psychiatry fellow 1997
Middlebury College MA 2017
Psychiatry and NeurologyAmerican Board of Psychiatry and NeurologyABPN- Geriatric Psychiatry
Dr. Ashok Bharucha, MD's Expert Contributions
There are several that are used. The most commonly used one is Naltrexone which comes in an oral formulation as well as a monthly injection. It does NOT reduce cravings but if someone does drink, they are less likely to spiral out of control because it blocks the rewarding effects of alcohol. Another one that is FDA-approved is acamprosate which has some evidence for reducing alcohol relapses. Both are modestly effective. Off-label medications such as topiramate and gabapentin are also used to assist with alcohol use disorder. AA and psychotherapy are very important parts of the treatment. READ MORE
I think it would depend on why she does not understand: (1) for example, does she just very quickly forget what you are telling her, (2) are her abilities to understand language seriously affected, (3) or as a result of dementia, is her thinking just more rigid. If the issue is primarily memory, sometimes writing somewhere clearly visible what day and time you will visit, as well as having a daily day/date on there could be helpful. Some individuals have given such individuals a written note stating this in their pocket so they are reminded whenever they check. For many individuals with dementia, anticipatory anxiety about future events is very troubling and sometimes it's best not to give them too much notice that they will then brood over. The Alzheimer's Association (Alz.org) has wonderful tips on communication skills that you may find helpful, as does the book The 36 Hour Day. READ MORE
Placement in a long term care facility is often a difficult transition. It also depends on whether dementia is involved. Generally speaking, trying to create structure and socialization in the new setting is helpful. Family visits, pet therapy, group activities, etc are important Bringing in favorite foods, photos, and other items that make the environment more homelike are helpful. If the sadness turns into clinical depression with major changes in sleep, appetite, energy, and suicidal thoughts, medical and psychiatric evaluation should be pursued. Ashok J Bharucha, MD, MA Phone: 844-647-1455 FAX: 877-511-8663 In the event of an emergency, email is not an appropriate form of communication. If you are in a crisis, please call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room. All pertinent practice policies are also available READ MORE
As you know, pancreatic cancer is one of the most painful conditions and the course is often rapid. Hospice offers many benefits by way of pain and other symptom management, usually far better than nonspecialists. Hospice care does not mean giving up on the person. It actually means a skilled person is assessing all of their needs, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Ashok J Bharucha, MD, MA Phone: 844-647-1455 FAX: 877-511-8663 In the event of an emergency, email is not an appropriate form of communication. If you are in a crisis, please call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room. All pertinent practice policies are also available READ MORE
It refers to the observation that older individuals with dementia become more confused as the day progresses, particularly in the afternoon and evening. There are many factors that may be at play: fatigue, ones internal biological clock is no longer in sync with actual time of day, being overstimulated by surroundings etc. Ashok J Bharucha, MD, MA Phone: 844-647-1455 FAX: 877-511-8663 In the event of an emergency, email is not an appropriate form of communication. If you are in a crisis, please call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room. All pertinent practice policies are also available READ MORE
Hospice has many benefits. Most importantly, their presence is a major source of support to the family. Hospice providers are trained to manage ALL symptoms that one might have to deal with at the end of life such as pain, depression, anxiety, fear, and many physical symptoms. Overall, I strongly recommend hospice care for those who may be within the last 6 months of their lives. READ MORE
The first step would be a medical evaluation to rule out medical causes of anxiety such as thyroid problems, amongst many others. The list of issues that can result in anxiety is very long, so ideally, an evaluation with a geriatric psychiatrist or a counselor who specializes in the care of older adults would be helpful. It's important to treat the causes of the symptom, and not just the symptom, to avoid complications. For example, individuals who are dementing often experience "abandonment anxiety" when left alone (out of sight, out of mind), even when you are just in another room. READ MORE
Yes there are medication and cognitive behavioral therapy options. READ MORE
Depression is common especially as one moves from community settings to hospitals to longterm care. Late-life depression is certainly treatable but tends to be more brittle, requiring close monitoring. READ MORE
With comprehensive care - AA, individual therapy, and possibly medications, many individuals eventually succeed. READ MORE
I assume her physician has already done a workup for medical causes of weight gain. If so, an evaluation with a geriatric psychiatrist may be helpful in determining if there is an undiagnosed mental health issue that may be treated and which may assist with weight management. The treatment will depend on the underlying issues discovered through the evaluation process. READ MORE
Yes. Depression with onset later in life is itself a risk factor for dementia. As the brain changes due to dementia, it predisposes individuals to depression as well as other psychological and behavioral problems. READ MORE
If the diagnosis is accurate, yes, depression in later life can contribute to medical, cognitive, and other problems, including suicide, particularly in older white males. READ MORE
Yes, the possibility of an underlying medical problem such as heart disease or thyroid problem need to be ruled out, in addition to treating the attacks either with cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medications. READ MORE
Typically an adult psychiatrist would be able to help. Depending on the complexity of the problem, there are psychiatrists who specialize in addictions too. READ MORE
Yes antidepressants are commonly used after a medical work up if no medical issues are identified and talk therapy or other interventions are hard to access or person prefers medication. READ MORE
By a home, Im not sure if you mean a group home or an assisted living. Usually the best option is to encourage the same activities, modified for age and physical limitations, that the person enjoyed before. Senior centers often provide socialization that many find enjoyable once they get over the idea of going. If its an assisted living facility, they should have structured activities that she can participate in too. Although challenging, best option usually is finding a way to remain engaged with things and people they enjoyed before. READ MORE
No, usually hospice is well equipped and skilled to deal with all comfort issues, including mental health. READ MORE
Dementia is a very general term for a wide range of conditions that lead to impairments in memory, learning, and ability to care for self. Alzheimers is just one type of dementia. Others include Parkinsons disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, etc. READ MORE
Hi, depression is quite common in Parkinson's disease due to destruction of the nerve cells that modulate mood. Typically, an antidepressant is required to manage depression such as this that has at least a partial basis in brain pathology. Of course, she may also benefit from psychotherapy that allows her to cope with the limitations imposed by the condition. READ MORE
Expert PublicationsData provided by the National Library of Medicine
- Predictors of nursing facility admission: a 12-year epidemiological study in the United States.
- Motivations for physician-assisted suicide.
- Why now? Timing and circumstances of hastened deaths.
- Psychotherapy in long-term care: A review.
- Family member involvement in hastened death.
- Intelligent video monitoring to improve safety of older persons.
- Prevalence of behavioral symptoms: comparison of the minimum data set assessments with research instruments.
- Resident-to-resident aggression in long-term care facilities: insights from focus groups of nursing home residents and staff.
- In-home monitoring of persons with dementia: ethical guidelines for technology research and development.
- Late-life suicide: a review.
Areas of expertise and specialization
- American Psychiatric Association
- American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
- American Geriatrics Society
Areas of research
Behavioral disturbances of dementia
Dr. Ashok Bharucha, MD's Practice location
South Abington Twp, PA 18411Get Direction
Bloomsburg, PA 17815Get Direction
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Patient Experience with Dr. Bharucha
Get to know Psychiatrist Dr. Ashok Bharucha, who serves patients in Pennsylvania.
Regarded as thoughtful and attentive, Dr. Bharucha is a seasoned adult and geriatric psychiatrist with over 30 years of clinical, research, administrative, and teaching experience. He currently operates a private practice, Transformations: Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry, PC, conveniently located in South Abington Township, Pennsylvania.
As the lead professional at Transformations: Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry, PC, Dr. Barucha aims to establish a collaborative therapeutic relationship with every patient that not only enhances their sense of well-being but also furthers their aspirations for achieving their full potential. He approaches his work from an existential and humanistic standpoint, allowing clients to narrate their singular stories that reveal their hopes, passions, and dreams.
Born in India, Dr. Bharucha was raised in the United States for most of his childhood. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and German, Cum Laude, with departmental honors in German from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He then went on to earn his medical degree from the Penn State College of Medicine in 1992.
Furthering his training, he completed his postgraduate work at Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital (four months, geriatric and addiction psychiatry), Massachusetts General Hospital (two months, neurology), and Mount Auburn Hospital (6 months, medical internship).
Following this initial postgraduate period, Dr. Bharucha completed his residency in adult psychiatry at McLean Hospital from 1993 until 1996, and his fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, under Richard Veith, from 1996 until 1997.
Most recently, in 2017, Dr. Bharucha earned his Master of Arts degree from Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont.
Board-certified in psychiatry, he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). The ABPN is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to promoting high quality patient care for the public through the initial and continuing certification of psychiatrists and neurologists.
An experienced dementia and late-life disorders specialist, Dr. Bharucha is highly-trained in adult and geriatric psychiatry, as well as in the management of conditions at the interface of neurology, medicine, and psychiatry. He pursues the best outcomes for patients through a combination of pharmacology (psychoactive medications) and psychotherapy (talk therapy).
With more than 30 years in the psychiatric field, including over ten years as a senior psychiatric medicine practitioner, his clinical experience includes stretches as an adult and geriatric psychiatrist at such organizations as Generations Geriatric Mental Health, Eliot Hospital (2015 – present).
His experience in academia includes several professorial appointments within various institutions, including serving as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University (2002 – present).
Maintaining long-standing memberships in a number of scientific and professional societies, Dr. Bharucha is a member of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Medical Directors’ Association, the American Neuropsychiatric Association, the International Psychogeriatric Association, and the Gerontological Society of America.
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders. These include various maladaptations related to mood, behavior, cognition, and perceptions. Psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They conduct thorough psychiatric evaluations, develop treatment plans, prescribe medication, and evaluate treatment results.
Throughout his extensive career, Dr. Bharucha has earned several academic and professional honors, including Fellowship with the American Psychoanalytic Association (1996-1997); An Ethics Committee Chairmanship at the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester (1999); Three Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Award Nominations at WPIC between 2001 and 2003; Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Award at WPIC in 2002; Golden Apple Psychiatry Teacher of the Year Award at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (2002); Excellence in Education Award in the Small Group Facilitator Category at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (2004); and Outstanding Mentor nomination at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was also named one of America’s Top Physicians by the Consumers’ Research Council of America each year from 2007 to the present, and Best Doctors in America honors between 2009 and 2010.
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