Letter: Assisted living safe for mentally ill

By Janne Mills

The Daily Advance

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I recently read the article in The Daily Advance regarding mentally ill residents being discharged from assisted living facilities. As usual only half the story is being told.

For the nonaggressive mentally ill person, assisted living facilities should be considered a safe alternative living option. Where the nonaggressive mentally ill person lives is vital to their mental and physical well being. Assuring medications are taken as ordered; assuring a balance diet; assuring doctor visits are kept — all impact the mentally ill in positive ways.

Just as important is assurance that the mentally ill in assisted living settings receive mental health services. Something that the advocates, such as Disability Rights of North Carolina, seem to overlook. They only want services for mentally ill who do not live in assisted living settings. What sense does that make? A resident with mental illness living in an assisted living setting should not be discriminated against for mental health services just because they live in an adult care home setting.

For over 60 years assisted living facilities have provided care to a mentally ill population that many now choose to ignore. For the Obama administration, the state of North Carolina and advocates such as the Disability Rights of North Carolina to now say adult care homes cannot provide proper living arrangements is both hypocritical and wrong.

JANNE C. MILLS

Elizabeth City