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Mental illness is difficult to handle at any age but can become even more arduous for seniors. For many seniors, mental illness is compounded by health concerns and physical limitations. When choosing an assisted living facility for your aging loved one, it is imperative you carefully research to determine if the facility is fully equipped to meet the needs of a resident with mental illness.
Common Mental Health Issues
Although the cognitive decline is certainly a problem for most seniors, there are mental health issues that can come into play and cause pronounced problems. While many seniors suffer from depression, there are more serious mental health diagnoses that can plaque the older population. Understanding the assisted living needs of the following mental health conditions is vital.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
While many assisted living programs are fully equipped to handle the unique needs of elderly mental health patients, not all are. It is important you carefully research your options, tour facilities, and get to know the services they provide for the elderly.
Do Assisted Living Facilities Accept Mental Health Patients?
In most facilities, mental health patients are welcome, but this is not always the case in every situation. If the patient is combative or a source of harm for themselves or others, assisted living facilities are likely not going to be able to provide a high level of individualized care that is needed for the patient.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 20% of individuals over the age of 55 have some type of mental health concern. Care for seniors must include protections to help prevent cognitive declines which can worsen mental health conditions.
What to Look for in a Program
There are a few things you should ask yourself when touring any type of assisted living facility. The more you learn about your options, the better equipped you will be for deciding. The decision process should never be rushed, to ensure the right facility is chosen. Get answers to the following questions for the best results.
- Is the staff equipped to properly care for a mental health resident?
- What types of treatment will be available to the resident?
- What medication management strategies will be in place?
- What happens in the event a mental health crisis occurs?
- How involved can the family be in determining care?
- What safeguards are put in place to protect the resident?
- How will the resident be cared for by staff members?
Getting answers to these questions will equip you with the knowledge you must have for making the proper decision for your loved one. Do not hesitate to become an advocate for your loved one and ensure they are receiving the care they need and deserve.
Yes, there are many assisted living facilities that provide services for seniors with mental health concerns. It is imperative you carefully research the options to determine which facility will be able to offer the highest level of care for your loved one’s unique needs.
An assisted living program offers 24/7 observation and can provide a range of services that allow your loved one to remain as independent as possible while giving them the medical and personal care services they need. With the right program, your aging loved one will begin to thrive and enjoy life again. Check out the options today.