A few years ago, mental health and mental health care were only discussed behind closed doors. Few people openly talked about their problems or concerns. The coronavirus pandemic has changed this. A large number of people struggle to adjust and have developmental health concerns. Rather than suffering quietly, those people spoke out for the first time.
As a result, mental health has shed some of the stigma surrounding it and those who suffer from mental health challenges. At the same time, mental health care and support have become more widely available across the United States.
One of the most effective ways to deal with mental health conditions is a behavioral health care program. Seen as a premium service by some, improving behavioral health is less of a luxury and more of a necessity to ensure the continued quality of life.
The Impact of Behavioral Health Care
Behavioral health and mental health disciplines often operate simultaneously, but there are essential differences between the two concepts. Mental health is concerned with a person’s overall state of mind.
Behavioral health, on the other hand, focuses on day-to-day cognitive habits. The goal is to establish and maintain positive routines that will benefit physical and mental health over time. It is vital to consider “Health” as a holistic concept to understand the true impact of behavioral health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as more than the absence of illness or injury. Instead, someone is only truly healthy when their physical and mental health is well balanced.
It may sound simple, but it is easy to lose that balance during periods of significant life changes or when facing uncertainty. Stressful times like those are hard to cope with for any person, no matter their age or background. Routines and habits established through behavioral health care treatments and counseling can make a big difference. They have the power to stop mental health challenges from turning into conditions that require professional treatment.
More Than a Luxury – Behavioral Health Care in Assisted Living Facilities
Access to mental and behavioral health care has long depended on health insurance. Individual policies may have excluded cognitive and behavioral health care. In some cases, hitting limits on co-payments puts this type of care out of reach for many. High deductibles can be another obstacle.
Assisted living is a type of residential care growing in popularity across the United States. There are currently just under 29,000 communities offering this type of residential care. Most ALF and independent living facilities provide a combination of relatively independent living for seniors with access to different levels of care.
For those facilities, behavioral health care services are available under the mantle of medicare. That means neither facilities nor residents are charged extra for the service.
Within ALF, behavioral health care can make a massive difference to an elderly resident’s well-being. Transitioning from independent living to assisted living is not easy. Apart from the practical aspects of moving, seniors have to admit that this transition marks the beginning of the last phase of their life. Behavioral health care can help them come to terms with that.
Where practical factors of moving are concerned, behavioral health counseling and advice help new residents re-establish healthy, existing routines in their new environment. Moving disrupts those routines, including getting regular exercise or making healthy food choices. Behavioral health care can support people by helping them get back on track or develop new habits for the new environment.
Behavioral Health Care Sets Facilities Apart
Behavioral health care for seniors does not need to be costly because services like TrueCare™’s behavioral health program are fully medicare-approved.
However, this type of service is still something that can set your facility apart from its competitors. With thousands of ALF communities showing vacancies after the coronavirus pandemic, attracting new residents and retaining existing clients has never been more critical.
Offering behavioral health support allows facilities to set themselves apart as industry leaders who take a holistic approach to resident health. Adding behavioral health care to the services the facility offers raises its profile. In addition, it will show prospective residents and family members that your business cares about the mental health and well-being of its residents.
When Behavioral Health Care Becomes a Necessity
Mental health concerns are not necessarily a side effect of aging. But there are several aspects of getting older that make it more likely for seniors to develop mental health problems.
Failing health is one of those problems. Dealing with illnesses as they become chronic and harder to manage may trigger mental health issues or feelings of despair. When these feelings become more than a passing occurrence, it is time to seek professional help.
As people age, they are also more likely to develop dementia. While the progressive decline of cognitive abilities can be complex for patients and their families, behavioral health care can help through counseling, medication management, and other services.
In those situations, access to behavioral health care is no longer a luxury but a necessity to ensure the quality of life. Whether someone lives relatively independently or relies on regular supervision and support is valid.
How to Access Behavioral Health Care Without Excessive Cost
Health care can be expensive in the United States. Access to behavioral health services does not need to be excessively costly.
Platforms like TrueCare™ make these critical mental health care services available as and when they are needed. As an assisted living facility looking to improve your care to residents, our team can become an extension of your team on-demand.
There are no lengthy contracts or tie-ins. You access our skills, knowledge, and experience when your residents need it. For assisted living facilities and their residents, TrueCare™’s behavioral health services are covered by medicare.
Your team and your residents can reap the benefits without worrying about the cost. Comprehensive behavioral health care starts with assessing the residents of an ALF facility to identify those who need to support the most. Once this step is complete, our mental health professionals will create and deliver individual care plans for those residents who need them.
At the same time, we can also train your team in basic behavioral health care. Your staff will not only benefit from learning additional skills. More importantly, they will be even better at improving residents’ care and quality of life.
As a result, your facility can offer a higher quality of care. Behavioral health care may be seen as a premium service, but it does not need to be costly. Looking after the mental and physical health of residents should be a matter of course, especially with behavioral health care more accessible than ever before.