The Psychogeriatric Communities of the St. John of God, Fatebenefratelli, St. Ambrogio Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in Cernusco sul Naviglio, Milan, took start in 2000 as experimental project approved by the Lombardy Region Health Authority. These Communities operate within the network of the mental health services as "protected, high-care, psychiatric residential communities" (CPA). The paper presents a profile of the Communities and the results of a survey carried out to describe the patients demographic and clinical features. The survey is part of a broader project of reorganization which aims at providing therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions more in line with the wide spectrum of psychiatric and health-care needs of the patients. Taking into consideration the experience over those years, together with the results of the survey and data from the literature, we discuss some key issues of old age psychiatry, with a special focus on the residential setting.
Keywords: Old age psychiatry, rehabilitation, residential care, recovery.