Canadian Alliance on mental Illness and Mental Health Alliance Canadienne pour la Maladie Mentale et la Sante Mentale

National Guidelines for Seniors’ Mental Health: The Assessment and Treatment of Mental Health Issues in Long Term Care Homes (Focus on Mood and Behaviour Symptoms)

Background of Issue:

In Canada, the number of seniors receiving care in LTC homes has risen from 203,000 in 1986 to 240,000 in 1996 (National Advisory Council on Aging, 1999) and this number is continuing to increase. Projections for 2031 suggest that the number of LTC beds will triple or even quadruple.

The literature suggests that there is an extremely high prevalence of mental disorders among nursing home residents. Depression is extremely common (15% - 25% of residents have symptoms of major depression) as is the prevalence of psychosis (ranging from 12-21%). Individuals with dementia suffer from cognitive impairment (usually consisting of memory impairment) may also have behavioural symptoms which include agitation, aggression, wandering, etc. Due to the high prevalence of mental disorders, studies have demonstrated limited availability of psychiatric and mental health services for residents living in Canadian LTC homes (Conn & Silver, 1998; Conn et all, 1992).

Download a copy of The Assessment and Treatment of Mental Health Issues in Long Term Care Homes (Focus on Mood and Behaviour Symptoms) at no charge.

Learn more about how The Assessment and Treatment of Mental Health Issues in Long Term Care Homes Guideline is being implemented throughout Canada in a variety of innovative pilot projects.

The Mental Health Issues in long Term Care Homes Guideline Development Group included the following members:

NAME ROLE DISCIPLINE
Dr. David Conn Co-chair Psychiatry
Dr. Maggie Gibson Co-chair Psychology
Dr. Sid Feldman Group Member Family Medicine
Dr. Sandi Hirst Group Member Nursing / CGNA
Sandra Leung Group Member Pharmacy
Dr. Penny MacCourt Group Member Social Work
Dr. Kathy McGilton Group Member Nursing
Ljiljana Mihic Group Member Psychology
Karen Cory Consultant Medical Librarian
Dr. Ken Le Clair Consultant Psychiatry
Dr. Lynn McLeary Consultant Nursing
Simone Powell Consultant Policy
Esther Roberts Consultant Caregiver