Behavioral health and mental health have become common topics of conversation over the past two years. As more public figures and celebrities speak out about their mental well-being struggles, the stigma surrounding those conditions breaks down.
On the other hand, seniors living in assisted living facilities are one part of the population that is not receiving much publicity. However, they have been especially strongly affected by behavioral health challenges. Here is a closer look at some of those disorders.
What is Behavioral Health?
What is considered behavioral health? Behavioral health is concerned with developing habits that support a healthy balance between physical and mental well-being. Compared to that, mental health evaluates behavior and environmental influences, and biology. Mental health is not focused on behavior but a person’s state of mind.
What Are Behavioral Health Disorders?
While behavioral and mental health is closely related, not all mental health disorders stem from behavioral problems. Negative behaviors, however, will have a detrimental impact on someone’s mental well-being. They can also jeopardize a patient’s or client’s physical health.
Some of the most common behavioral health disorders include substance abuse, defiant behavior, eating disorders, isolation, impulsivity, and disordered sleeping.
When it comes to residents of assisted living facilities, addressing behavioral problems is the key to delivering a high quality of care.
- Isolation and Loneliness
Although many assisted living facilities to have a community-style setup, loneliness and isolation continue to be significant problems among elderly residents. These issues were further exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic when lockdowns and restrictions limited activities. Restrictions were designed with seniors’ physical well-being in mind, but their detrimental effects on mental health are now well documented.
- Disordered Eating
Eating disorders may not seem like an obvious problem that affects seniors. Conditions like anorexia and bulimia are more closely associated with a younger population. Disordered eating presents differently in older people. They may suffer from a lack of appetite, which leads to unwanted weight loss. Combined with other chronic health conditions like diabetes, this can quickly lead to serious physical issues.
- Trouble Sleeping
Sleeping problems are another behavioral health issue affecting the population of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Over an extended period, disrupted sleep or a general lack of sleep negatively impact cognitive abilities and moods, and general well-being.
Addressing Behavioral Health Issues
What is behavioral health care? Behavioral health care aims to address existing behavioral disorders or prevent them in the first place.
Behavioral health specialists help their clients and patients recognize and identify problematic behaviors. Once detrimental behaviors are better understood by those suffering from them, it becomes easier to find their root cause. Addressing the root of behavioral health issues rather than simply dealing with symptoms often leads to a more sustainable, long-term solution.
As is the case with many conditions in people of all ages, prevention is better than cure. It also applies to what is considered behavioral health in older people. Offering a wide range of activities to suit different tastes can go far when it comes to preventing loneliness.
Behavioral health care aims to help patients establish good habits that positively influence physical and mental well-being.
What is Behavioral Health Service?
At this point, assisted living communities and other facilities have both an opportunity and an obligation to offer behavioral health care support to their residents.
This support starts by analyzing residents’ current behavior and identifying issues that need addressing. Lockdowns and other restrictions have been challenging for everyone, no matter their age. However, while staying at home has caused many working-age people to gain weight due to a diet of takeaway food and a sedentary lifestyle, older people may experience the opposite.
What is Behavioral Health Service?
An effective behavioral health program is generally managed by a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) with a thorough understanding of behavioral and mental health. It becomes easier to design and implement a robust behavioral health offering with this highly trained person as a team leader.
They are saying that it is not practical for every assisted living facility to hire a full-time person dedicated to implementing behavioral health services. Teaming up with a specialized partner with a proven track record is a better solution for many.
Platforms like TrueCare™’s Behavioral Health Program deliver everything your facility needs to ensure your residents live their best lives. The program provides comprehensive, in-person services to residents of the facility at no cost. Everything delivered under the umbrella of TrueCare™’s behavioral health services is approved and covered by Medicare.
The program can help create a stronger community within your facility. Most assisted living residences are built around the concept of community. However, transitioning to this new lifestyle is not always easy, and not everyone adjusts naturally.
Medical professionals have found that helping manage the transition is critical to the mental well-being of residents. From a business or management perspective, adding a solid behavioral health offering to your facilities’ benefits package will set you apart from the competition.
Our team is here to support your team. We can assess residents’ behavioral health and help them deal with problematic behaviors. In addition, we are happy to train your team to recognize warning signs and address potential issues early. Your community benefits from a wide choice of activities, proactive support during the transition to assisted living, and an overall better atmosphere throughout the community.
The TrueCare Behavioral Health platform offers a comprehensive, in-person, Medicare-accepted program—building an environment where residents can grow stronger emotionally and help build a healthier community.