Mental health needs

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                                Mental health needs
                                 The recent Illinois legal decision      nursing home residents are lucky,       I’ve outlined in my blog post,
                                 to move mentally ill nursing home       it also will trigger an evaluation of   “Helping Mentally Ill Nursing
                                 residents into smaller mental           how we treat mental health issues       Home Residents” (see the July
                                 health settings is likely to prompt     in nursing homes in general.            14, 2009, entry at http://mybetter
      HAVING MY SAY              an industrywide examination of              While those with a chronic          nursinghome.blogspot.com), many
      Eleanor Feldman Barbera    the practice of accepting mentally      mental illness require special          residents would benefit from
      Ph.D.                      ill residents into long-term care. If   programming, some of which              increased consideration of their
                                                                                                                 mental health condition.
                                                                                                                    It’s not uncommon for men-
                                                                                                                 tally healthy adults to become
                                                                                                                 depressed and require psycho-
                                                                                                                 logical treatment or medication
                                                                                                                 (or both) following medical con-
                                                                                                                 ditions that take them away from
                                                                                                                 their homes and create depen-
                                                                                                                 dence after enjoying independent
                                                                                                                 lives. There is also a growing rec-
                                                                                                                 ognition of the problem of alco-
                                                                                                                 hol addiction in the elderly, with
                                                                                                                 many of these individuals being
                                                                                                                 admitted into our facilities.

                                                                                                                 Current psych services
                                                                                                                 Residents are required to be
                                                                                                                 assessed by many nursing home
                                                                                                                 departments following admis-
                                                                                                                 sion, but, oddly enough, there’s
                                                                                                                 no requirement for a psychologi-
                                                                                                                 cal assessment. Psychological
                                                                                                                 referrals are therefore haphazard,
                                                                                                                 dependen
				
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