The nursing home that you choose for your loved one should handle mental illness. One oftentimes overlooked illness that your loved one might suffer from is mental illness. If your loved one has a mental illness, they need proper care. On this page, I will discuss resources that your loved one should have access to as a nursing home resident with mental illness. If your loved one does not have access to this assistance and care, consider finding a new nursing home.
Mental Illness Needs
As someone suffering from mental illness, your loved one has unique needs. The home must meet these needs. Such needs include:
- Proper diagnosis. Sometimes, those with mental illnesses get misdiagnosed. Nursing home staff members should have the ability to properly diagnose each resident. This ensures that they receive the help that they need.
- Access to a health professional. There are many different types of health professionals that can help your loved one. They might choose to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, nurse psychotherapist, or even a pastoral counselor to work through mental issues. A nursing home should provide access to these mental health professionals. This allows your loved to get the help that they need.
- Regular access to medication. If your loved one is on medication, they need consistent access to this medication. A nurse should remind your loved one to take this medication every day. In addition, your loved one should have the freedom to change medication when it is not working with the help of a mental health professional.
- Awareness of needs. Nursing home staff members should have mental illness training. With training, they can pick up on issues that a resident with a mental illness is going through. This can prevent issues such as depression and mental instability.
- Understanding of depression in the elderly. Elderly people are more prone to depression than younger people are. Nursing home staff members need to be aware of this fact and know what to do if certain residents are expressing symptoms of depression.
If your loved one does not get the care that they need for a mental illness, issues can arise. Your loved one could hurt themselves or someone else as a result of improper treatment and care. These actions could be the fault of the nursing home staff if they are not providing the care that your loved one needs. The nursing home might be guilty of negligence in treating your loved one. If this is the case, you and your family could have a case against the nursing home or certain staff members. If this is an option that you are interested in pursuing, you should contact a lawyer with experience in nursing home neglect and abuse.