Geriatric psychiatry is a branch of psychiatry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions in older people. Geriatric psychiatry is concerned with mental health issues in the elderly. Because of the worldwide increase in the number of people surviving to a ripe old age, its significance grew dramatically in the late twentieth century. Geriatric psychiatry is looking for strategies to avoid dementias and to identify and treat depression and other illnesses in the elderly as early as possible. Geriatric psychiatry has been termed "general psychiatry with a variation." Working with elderly patients requires a psychiatrist to be exceptionally adaptable, with a broad range of knowledge and abilities suitable to the assessment of mental and behavioral issues in old age.