“The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 16.5% of long-term care residents are younger than 65 (Vital Health State 3 2016;38:x-xii, 1-105). However, we know that some LTC facilities tend to have higher concentrations of younger adults, and it is not uncommon to encounter individuals in their 20s. Younger adults who reside in LTC settings often fall into one of the following groups:
– Individuals with developmental disabilities or autism who could no longer have their medical needs met in another environment.
– People who’ve had a significant medical event such as a motor vehicle accident (MVA), stroke, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury that resulted in physical impairment such as hemiplegia or quadriplegia.
– Individuals with progressive and debilitating medical illness or neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Huntington’s disease.
– People whose substance use, severe obesity, or prior criminal activity has resulted in negative consequences that require care in a skilled nursing facility.
– Individuals with chronic mental illness who are unable to care for themselves in the community due to impaired judgment or cognition.
Although not every younger LTC resident exhibits a mental health or behavioral condition, there are often common and emotional behavioral challenges that emerge as a result of their medical condition.”– Meeting the Emotional and Behavioral Needs of Younger Residents in Long-Term Care by Lisa Lind, PhD
This excerpt is from a great article published in Caring for the Ages that discusses meeting the emotional and behavioral needs of younger residents. The author, Lisa Lind, PhD shares that AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine has a toolkit “The Younger Adult in the Long-Term Care Setting” that gives more information on best practices when dealing with this sometimes challenging population (additional cost).
Stay well, mask up indoors, and stay tuned!