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Seniors with Mental Health Issues Don’t Always Seek Out Long-Term Care

Mental Health America has developed an online mental health screening tool that almost 10,000 individuals over the age of 65 have utilized since 2014. When asked about end-of-life care, none of the individuals stated that they were looking for skilled nursing care. Rather, they were more concerned with their effect on others toward the end of their lives. Essentially, the surveyed individuals uniformly rejected expensive end-of-life care in favor of having a safe place to live, the ability to interact with family members and friends, and hopes for the future of their children. The bottom line is that when it comes to end-of-life care for those individuals with mental illness, options for long-term care or skilled nursing care are not their priorities. Therefore, allowing seniors, especially those with mental illnesses, to actively participate in their end-of-life care planning can be crucial to their happiness in their final days.

The results of these screenings indicate that existing affordable living options and places to congregate with friends and participate in activities, such as senior centers, may not sufficiently meet the needs of seniors with serious mental illnesses. While these individuals often have physical conditions in addition to mental illness, they tend to seek out remedies for their emotional wellbeing, rather than any remedies for their physical ailments. In order to meet these needs, it is possible that mental health professionals may need to refocus their efforts on providing the level of support that these individuals truly need, rather than focusing on purely medical or nursing care solutions.

The community based residential facility (CBRF) lawyers of Boller & Vaughan are experienced in ensuring that nursing homes and other elderly care facilities live up to reasonable standards in caring for their residents, including meeting their mental health needs. When a nursing home or other type of facility fails to do so, and injury to a resident occurs, the facility may be liable for those injuries. We know how to investigate your case, assess your situation and determine whether you or your loved one has any potential claims against nursing home staff or the nursing home itself. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn how we can help you through this difficult situation.