Assisted living communities and other residential care communities are more and more becoming the setting for care of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, according to a new report. More so, these communities struggle with suitable access to mental health services.
That report is based on data from the 2016 wave of the biennial National Study of Long-Term Care Providers.
McKnight’s Senior Living’s recent article entitled “More than 40 percent of assisted living communities do not provide mental health services: CDC” reports that in 2016, 41.9% of assisted living community residents had diagnosed dementia, according to the authors. A total of 30.9% of assisted living residents had depression.
Mental health services are not provided at nearly half of communities (49.4%) where more than 75% of residents have been diagnosed with dementia. In addition, in 42.6% of communities there are 25% to 75% of residents who have been diagnosed with dementia, and 44.5% of communities where less than 25% of residents have been diagnosed dementia, the authors said.
In a quarter of assisted living communities across the country, over 75% of residents had diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Most of those communities (90.5%) were found in metro areas, compared with communities with lower percentages of residents with dementia.
Communities where more than 75% of residents had dementia were most likely to have four to 25 beds (77.5%) compared with 26 to 50 beds (11%) or more than 50 beds (11.6%).
Residents in communities where more than three-quarters of residents had dementia saw an average of 33 more minutes of aide time and 10 more minutes of activities staff time, compared with communities where fewer of the patients suffered from dementia.
However, assisted living communities with the highest prevalence of dementia also had the highest prevalence of depression (38.7%).
However, the rate of depression was 32.3% in communities where 25% to 75% of residents had dementia and was the lowest, 25.3%, in communities where dementia was diagnosed in less than 25% of residents.
A few of the organizational and staffing characteristics vary based upon the prevalence of residents with dementia, which may help give providers, policymakers, researchers and consumer advocates data concerning the differences among assisted living communities. Understanding these unfortunate realities may pave the way for improvements to be made.
Reference: McKnight’s Senior Living (Dec. 7, 2020) “More than 40 percent of assisted living communities do not provide mental health services: CDC”