Last week, we covered a tough topic in assisted living: mental health issues. (Read the post here.) Today at 1pm ET, we will explore that topic in more detail during our bi-monthly #ElderCareChat on Twitter, a forum that we co-moderate with Denise Brown from Caregiving.com (@caregiving). Anyone interested in eldercare — either from a personal or professional standpoint — is welcome to attend.
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that a striking 67% of nursing home residents have mental disorders (and it’s likely the number of assisted living residents affected is similar). A recent Institute of Medicine report said 1 in 5 American seniors has a mental health or substance abuse problem.
These issues are not going away, and with numbers like the above, it’s a problem that cannot be ignored or swept under the rug. Today’s seniors, tomorrow’s boomers, and all who follow them (especially men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe PTSD and other related traumas) will need specialized care and services.
Key issues for discussion during today’s chat include suicide prevention efforts, dealing with the special mental health challenges faced by veterans at the end of life, substance abuse among seniors, overcoming depression among seniors and their caregivers, addressing inappropriate sexual behavior and bullying in senior living, and concerns about the use of antipsychotic medications, particularly among those living with dementia.