Mental Illness and Senior Care

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It can be very difficult on a family to find the proper assisted-living community for a loved one. If Alzheimer’s or memory loss is an issue, then there are communities that can help. However, if the loved one has mental illness issues, finding a suitable living environment may be difficult. In fact, for many families, finding a suitable living facility for a loved one with mental illness can be staggering. The following are a few tips and advice for families trying to find assisted living care for a mentally ill family member.

Treatment Options

If a family member has mental illness and assisted living or senior care living is a viable option, then treatment options are the first thing the family wants to look into. Treatment options will be listed by the facility either through brochures, discussions or through other methods. These treatment options will clearly state if the facility is capable of handling someone with mental illness or if there are only certain mental illnesses that the community can accommodate. Depending on the level of mental illness, type of mental illness, and other factors the assisted living community may or may not be able to help. Looking at the treatment options first, however, will make the choice is a bit easier.

Long-Term Care

Once the family has narrowed down the treatment care options, they will be able to look at long-term care options. The truth of the matter is, that if a senior loved one has a mental illness, long-term care is probably the only viable solution. Once the treatment options have been determined, long-term care is the next step and will be offered by most communities that offer mental illness care for seniors. The long-term care options are generally the same as standard long-term care options for seniors, with the exception of offering various mental illness programs or medication management options.

Medication Management and Personal Safety

Two considerations that go hand-in-hand for seniors with mental illness are medication management and personal safety. Generally, the medication that an individual is on when they have a mental illness is directly correlated to their personal safety. If the medication should stop working, fail in any way, skipped, or is not taken then the personal safety of the resident can become critical. For this reason, a family will want to make sure that the medication management program put in place by the senior care facility is one that will not only work with a mental illness that their loved one suffers with, but also will work with their personal safety issues that they may have.

The best method in finding a mental illness care option for seniors or a senior care option that caters to mental illness is to discuss this with a senior care advisor. A senior care advisor will be able to help narrow down the possible options for senior care, assisted living care and long-term care facilities and will be able to direct the family in the proper network to find the facility that works best for their family member.