Young Adults in LTC: A New Resource for Caregivers (McKnight’s LTC News)

Here’s my latest article at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:


Young adults in long-term care: a new resource for caregivers

According to a 2010 NPR report, young adults have been one of the fastest growing long-term care populations over the past 10 years, with 14% of nursing home residents under the age of 65. Some live in facilities that have specialized in the care of younger residents and others are in settings where almost all the other residents are seniors.

Both scenarios pose challenges in terms of accommodating the unique physical, emotional, and recreational needs of younger adults — and the reactions of staff members to their young charges.

Having spoken with many young residents and their bewildered staffers over the years, I know firsthand how challenging interactions can be. I wrote about some of the psychological issues and remedies in my 2008 McKnight’s guest column, Young adults in long-term care: the canaries in the coal mine, where I argued that the problems arising with young adults now are precursors to those that will be endemic when the assertive baby boomers arrive at our doors — unless we adapt as providers.

Younger adult toolkit

Recognizing the need for facilities to be better prepared, the American Medical Directors Association has released a toolkit on “The Younger Adult in the Long Term Care Setting” as part of its LTC Information Series.  I had the pleasure of working on this project, which covers a wide range of matters affecting young adults and provides recommendations for addressing them.

The guide is one of the few sources of information on this understudied population. If your facility has even one young or boomer resident that staff members consider “demanding” or “a problem,” you’ll find this report invaluable.

For the rest of the article, visit:

Young adults in LTC: A new resource for caregivers


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