Things are not always black and white in assisted living, nor is it all prepared meals, Bingo, and someone else doing the dishes and laundry. There are complex issues facing assisted living staff and providers every day: questions about what is the best care plan for each individual resident, concerns about residents whose needs are becoming too difficult to manage, fears about residents who may pose a risk to the safety of others in the building (staff and residents included).
Mental health issues are not left behind when an affected senior moves to assisted living. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, severe depression: whatever the diagnosis, the care of these individuals is not straightforward. Assisted living staff may need more training than the limited amount they already receive to better understand how to care for these individuals. Treatment, medication, and therapies that would be helpful may not be best delivered in an assisted living setting. Yet where should providers draw the line? Should these be decided on a case-by-case basis, or should there be a policy covering all topics related to the best mental health care for seniors?
This blog post from AssistedLivingFacilities.org asks these questions too, and encourages family members who are considering care for a loved one with mental illness to choose carefully, ensuring that the community is well-equipped to meet their needs.
Read about other tough topics in assisted living here: