Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mentally ill inmates a sign of the future

Victim of 'Aging at Home' philosophy
The demographics make these conditions horrible. Canada has had several cases of suicides in our penitentiaries. It is, I believe, a tip of the proverbial iceberg. While suicide is the second highest cause of death for young people, accidents being the first (18 - 24), mental health issues fall under the radar for seniors. Depression, especially caregiver depression hits many a family.

Seniors housebound due to physical infirmities, transportation (or the lack thereof), sleep disorders, and caregiving responsibilities, can lead to mental and physical health issues. It is important that seniors receive help. Sometimes Primary Care physicians pooh-pooh new health issues, blaming them on chronic care problems, and deny a senior the proper healthcare, or medications to improve their lives. The myths of pain management continues with older doctors who have not kept up with current practices.

My father remained undiagnosed with a urinary tract infection (due to radiation treatments - something quite predictable) because his dementia was confused with his delirium.

Mental health issues are complex and increasing. Hospitals are unable to manage frail seniors who have dementia. And dementia is an undiagnosed issue for many. Make sure you know the difference between dementia and delirium.

Read about this woman with chronic health and obesity issues.

From Hospital to Home:

The Transitioning of Alternate Level of Care and Long-stay Mental Health Clients

Psychiatric ALC (Alternate Level of Care) days and long-stay days (defined here as days
exceeding three months for a single hospitalization) consume a significant portion of all Ontario
inpatient resources, representing 51% of all Ontario ALC/long-stay days. Further, individuals
who have 90 days or more designated as ALC in acute care settings, or very long stays in tertiary
facilities (i.e., six months or longer), have very complex conditions and needs. They are more
likely to have schizophrenia or psychotic-spectrum illnesses, developmental disorders in addition
to mental disorders (i.e., dual diagnosis), and co-occurring physical illnesses. The majority
exhibit problematic behaviours and a large proportion have legal involvement.

Prisons grappling with increase in mentally ill female inmates (- Jan. 29, 2011, Globe and Mail)

A wave of mentally ill women is flooding into the Canadian penitentiary system, sparking calls for reform and the creation of treatment facilities that already exist for male offenders. Across the country, prisons are grappling with the problem of a sharp increase in mentally impaired inmates. But the issue is particularly acute with women.

Why Canada's prisons can't cope with flood of mentally ill inmates

What do you think will happen when more people move into their senior years? More people living in unsanitary conditions. Those aging at home without poor quality of lives, hoarders, and those unable to care for themselves. 

No comments: