The average number of patients resident in the asylum during the year was 465 and comprised 236 males and 229 females. The total admissions during the year were 203 - viz., 111 males and 92 females. Of these 140 were first admissions. Dr. L. R. Oswald, the medical superintendent, states in his report that seven of those admitted were over 70 years of age, two being over 85 years. “The nursing of these old people demands the greatest care and tact, for they are specially liable to accidents by reason of their frail condition and interfering ways. They must be kept apart from the acute and excited cases.” Alcoholic intemperance is set down as having been the cause of the insanity in 50 of the persons admitted, but in many of these - as, indeed, in other cases - the illness was not due to one but to several causes, of which intemperance was the most prominent. “Intemperance, along with an enfeebled bodily condition, acting in conjunction with prolonged worry or mental strain, or following an influenzal attack, but with intemperance as the main factor,” was the cause of insanity in the 50 cases referred to. General paralysis as a condition existed in 9 per cent. of the admissions, and in 16 per cent. a hereditary predisposition to insanity was established. The difficulty of obtaining reliable family histories was so great that it is considered probable that the proportion with hereditary taint was higher. During the year 98 patients were discharged as recovered, or 21 per cent. of the average population. Boarding-out, as a means of dealing with quiet and harmless cases, was largely practised during the year. 44 patients were thus sent out, but of that number seven were returned to the asylum for further observation. The deaths during the year numbered 38, or 8 per cent. of the average number resident. Of the deaths two were attributed to senile decay, three to cerebral haemorrhage, seven to phthisis and tuberculosis, and 11 to general paralysis. There were 11 escapes during the year, seven of these being effected by patients on parole. The privilege of parole is extended to from 20 to 25 per cent. of the patients and it is much appreciated and seldom abused. Influenza visited the institution but it was not virulent; it lowered the health of many members of the staff, but was not in any case fatal. Work, especially out-of-door employment on farm and garden, for men and women has benefited many. The treatment of acute and curable cases by prolonged rest in bed has been practised with success. Recreation and treatment go hand-in-hand, the grounds adjoining the Loch affording a delightful summer resort for suitable cases. The Nurses' Home is now well on its way to completion and it is now ready for occupation.
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