Mentally ill a threat in nursing homes

Over the past several years, nursing homes have become dumping grounds for young and middle-age people with mental illness, according to Associated Press interviews and an analysis of data from all 50 states. And that has proved a prescription for violence, as Jackson’s case and others across the country illustrate.

Younger, stronger residents with schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder are living beside frail senior citizens, and sometimes taking their rage out on them.

“Sadly, we’re seeing the tragic results of the failure of federal and state governments to provide appropriate treatment and housing for those with mental illnesses and to provide a safe environment for the frail elderly,” said Janet Wells, director of public policy for the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.

Numbers obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and prepared exclusively for the AP by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show nearly 125,000 young and middle-aged adults with serious mental illness lived in U.S. nursing homes last year.

That was a 41 percent increase from 2002, when nursing homes housed nearly 89,000 mentally ill people ages 22 to 64. Most states saw increases, with Utah, Nevada, Missouri, Alabama and Texas showing the steepest climbs.

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090322/ap_on_re_us/mentally_ill_nursing_homes

With my parents in their 70s, this scares me.

The problem is that we are not treating with the right medication because we are so desperately afraid of socialized medicine taking care of things. the mentally ill are NOT more violent towards others. the majority turn their anger inwards and commit suicide. I don’t want to se a “horrors of mentally ill” thread begin and I wish the news would just report a violent crime without the added comment that they were mentally ill. It makes everyone mistakenly believe that the mentally ill are more prone to violence. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

I agree it’s inappropriate to put people with mental illnesses in the same homes as elderly people, but this is because they have different needs and the staff may not be adequately trained to care for both types of patient.

However, just because someone is mentally ill does not make them any more dangerous than someone who is mentally well. I have worked with mentally ill patients and at present I care for a friend who is mentally ill. More often than not, they have been the victims of violence.

Some elderly people are mentally ill…My mom suffers from Alzeheimer’s disease, and is in a group home

There is a famous elderly wrestler with alzeheimers that killed a fellow in his nursing home…they were both old men…I am not sure what will happen to this ex wrestler, because he is in such bad mental condition, he isn’t really responsible

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