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Why Behavioral Health Care Is Key to Quality of Care in Assisted Living

Behavioral health has become a topic of everyday conversation throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As people of all ages faced unprecedented levels of uncertainty, discussing coping strategies became normal. Older adults were among those most strongly affected.

Keeping residents in assisted living facilities mentally and physically healthy is the key to ensuring the quality of life. Prioritizing Medicare-accepted behavioral health care is critical to achieving quality of care.

Mental Health or Behavioral Health?

The terms mental health and behavioral health are often used synonymously. However, there are crucial differences. Behavioral health deals with a person’s daily habits and how they affect their well-being, including emotions. Good habits help individuals balance their lives physically and mentally. Mental health, on the other hand, stretches beyond behaviors.

The Impact of Behavioral Health Problems on Assisted Living

In the United States, there are currently just under 40 million people above 65. This number is projected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. Experts expect it to double by 2050 because the baby boomer generation is aging. 1.5 million live in nursing homes out of those seniors, and approximately 1 million live in assisted living facilities.

The percentage of people over 65 living in nursing homes has declined steadily over the past 20 years. At the same time, assisted living has gained in popularity. While nursing homes are focused on providing necessary medical care, assisted living facilities have a different purpose.

They allow a more community-based, social lifestyle with help available when needed. However, assisted living staff members are not always full-time licensed nurses. As a result, it can be difficult for a facility to ensure a high standard of living and quality of care when faced with behavioral health issues.

Create a strong emotional and healthy community for your residents with a comprehensive, in-person, medicare accepted behavioral health program

How to Ensure Quality of Care and Living

Untreated behavioral health problems or unsolved emotional issues have a detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life. They prevent seniors from enjoying their life to their fullest potential. Plus, insecurity in dealing with behavioral health issues adds to the stress levels of assisted living staff and management.

Offering behavioral health care to residents is essential for any assisted living home. Addressing behavioral health concerns is critical to providing high-quality, compassionate, individualized care. Working with experienced, licensed professionals is the best way for a facility to ensure its services are helping the community.

However, operators cannot expect their staff to take on behavioral health care from one day to the next. Most carers are busy in their existing roles, so outside help is often the best solution. Training existing staff can go hand-in-hand with using an external provider.

What High-Quality Behavioral Health Care Looks Like

Behavioral health care needs to be delivered by staff who have the necessary qualifications to service mental health needs. It is how facilities can ensure they meet their residents’ needs while respecting them.

Not every resident who benefits from behavioral health programs has a mental health diagnosis. As a result, the resident may not be a patient but rather a person looking to live their best life past 65. Involving those clients into the treatment plan can go a long way towards motivating them to stay with the program.

Activities and exercise are vital components of a successful behavioral health program. It is not uncommon for assisted living residents who struggle with mental health to retreat to their rooms. Giving them reasons to leave the confines of their room, mix with other residents, and join in activities is critical to raising their quality of life.

Physical exercise has been proven to improve several mental health conditions. Even light activity can help boost self-esteem, reduce depression, and improve your mood.

An Individual Approach

Like every assisted living resident is different, their behavioral health needs vary. Taking an individual approach and respecting residents’ boundaries is essential to creating a successful behavioral health program.

As important as social interactions are for behavioral and mental health, not every resident enjoys the same type of activity. Creating a varied schedule is more likely to benefit many residents.

Assisted living staff can only develop suitable activities for residents if they genuinely understand their needs. Developing this level of understanding starts with a professional evaluation and diagnosis of any behavioral concerns. Addressing these concerns and overcoming behavioral health challenges creates the highest possible quality of life.

Platforms like Behavioral Health Programs from TrueCare™ are ideal for helping your assisted living facility deliver the highest level of care to your resident.

The program combines a well-structured but flexible approach with resident well-being at its heart. Help your residents grow stronger emotionally and watch your assisted living community thrive.

Please find out how our platform can help you attract and retain more residents for your facility.

 

About TrueCare™ 

TrueCare™ is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.

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