This handbook covers the scientific, clinical and service background for practitioners involved in the care of older people with psychiatric disorders. Expanding older populations and increasing attention on mental disorder in old age have focused attention on the need for responsive, humane,efficient and effective services. The greatest interest has been in the identification and treatment of dementia; it has also become clear how very common the other psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and substance abuse are in older age. While specialistservices proliferate, more general services, for example in general hospital medical teams, or adult community psychiatric services, continue to manage many older people with psychiatric illness. This handbook provides a clear grounding in the scientific and moral basis of the speciality and up-to-date evidence on how to proceed in the most commonly encountered clinical situations in a manageable and easy-to-use format . It will be of value to specialists, to those setting up services, tonon-specialists treating older patients and to students learning about these disorders. All three authors are busy clinicians in old age psychiatry as well as active teachers and researchers in this area. Through international professional and research links, they marry a UK to an internationalperspective.