Seniors Housing Weekly Update - Assisted Living And Mental Illness
September 11, 2012
Assisted Living And Mental Illness
There has been growing talk in the assisted living field that caring for the elderly with mental illness presents an opportunity for assisted living providers. Although it may not be said in such crass terms as “putting heads in the beds” when occupancy may be low, unfortunately some providers may think this is a great idea. We remember 15 to 20 years ago when some providers hung up their “Alzheimer’s shingle,” not because they knew how to care for the elderly with Alzheimer’s, but because there was a pressing need, especially for those families that did not want mom or dad to go into a nursing facility. The problem was that it was virgin territory for some of those providers, and in many cases customers were short-changed. Going down the path of trying to treat mental illness, or care for someone with it in an assisted living community, can be a dangerous one to travel down for the untrained. If you can serve a need, great, but make sure you know how to do it before starting, and understand how it may change the character of your community in a way that maybe is not what you want.