“All aspects of care and services in a long-term or post-acute center can contribute to overall well-being, including physical, mental, and social health.” (Huaiquil, 2017)

Long-term and post-acute facilities are increasingly having to combat mental health issues in residents. Providers play an enormous role in the mental health of individuals, and, as such, must be up to date and practiced in the most successful means of caring for these residents.

Care centers strive to provide the care and services needed to attain or maintain each individual’s highest practicable physical, mental, and psychological well-being, through the care of the staff and the individual’s comprehensive assessment and care plan.

Mental health illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, mood, or feeling. These illnesses also may affect a person’s ability to function and the ability to relate to others. The elderly make up a large portion of the population with mental health issues. It is estimated that one in four individuals over 55 experience a behavioral disorder, with depression being the most commonly seen disorder in post-acute and long-term care facilities.

Another common mental illness in long-term care facilities is dementia. Facilities who work with residents using therapy and on-staff psychologists to create behavior management plans are the most successful, and the least costly.

Residents who are admitted to care centers lose their health status, ambulation, home, community, activities, routines, and many other elements of the life they have grown accustomed to. This can often lead to depression and redefine identity.

These transitionary times place a large responsibility on the staff at post-acute and long-term care centers. Facilities strive to help each resident become fully engaged in their new environment, create meaningful connections with other residents, attend positive activities, and get up each morning with goals to accomplish.

Each long-term and post-acute care center has had residents with mental health issues. Often, the key to success is to help each resident with their individual symptoms and work to help the individual achieve success. Success is often defined by the resident, and facilities strive to increase their quality of life so they can define themselves as successful.

Post-acute and long-term care centers have a great responsibility to care for each resident who comes to their facility. Each resident has individual needs, and the Care Centers must successfully treat all aspects of physical, mental, and social health in order to help each resident achieve their highest functional ability and define themselves as successful.