Presentation (Project) Title

Prevalence of Limited Mental Health Licenses Among Assisted Living Communities in Rural and Urban Florida

Mentor Information

Hillary Rouse (School of Aging Studies)

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Event

Abstract

Florida has the largest proportion of adults 65+. With this population comes growing mental health needs. Long-term care facilities, such as assisted living communities (ALCs), can provide older adults with care to properly address these mental health concerns if they hold a Limited Mental Health (LMH) license. The goal of this research was to investigate if there are disparities in access to ALCs with LMH licenses in Florida’s rural and urban counties. Data on the location of the ALCs and whether they have an LMH license were obtained from Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. The ALCs’ addresses were then categorized as rural or urban based on the 2010 U.S. census data. There were a total of 3,090 ALCs in Florida, 3,022 of which were in urban counties. Of the urban ALCs, 712 had an LMH license. However, over 60% of these urban LMH ALCs were located within one county, Miami-Dade. In comparison, there were only 79 ALCs in the 30 rural counties statewide. Of those ALCs, only 29 had an LMH license, and most of those had fewer than 25 beds. These findings suggest that there is a limited number of ALCs in Florida that provide mental health services. Additionally, there is a considerable rural disparity in the availability of these LMH ALCs, largely because of the low numbers of ALCs in rural areas. This suggests that many adults may be underserved and have mental health needs that go uncared for depending on where they live.

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Prevalence of Limited Mental Health Licenses Among Assisted Living Communities in Rural and Urban Florida

Florida has the largest proportion of adults 65+. With this population comes growing mental health needs. Long-term care facilities, such as assisted living communities (ALCs), can provide older adults with care to properly address these mental health concerns if they hold a Limited Mental Health (LMH) license. The goal of this research was to investigate if there are disparities in access to ALCs with LMH licenses in Florida’s rural and urban counties. Data on the location of the ALCs and whether they have an LMH license were obtained from Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. The ALCs’ addresses were then categorized as rural or urban based on the 2010 U.S. census data. There were a total of 3,090 ALCs in Florida, 3,022 of which were in urban counties. Of the urban ALCs, 712 had an LMH license. However, over 60% of these urban LMH ALCs were located within one county, Miami-Dade. In comparison, there were only 79 ALCs in the 30 rural counties statewide. Of those ALCs, only 29 had an LMH license, and most of those had fewer than 25 beds. These findings suggest that there is a limited number of ALCs in Florida that provide mental health services. Additionally, there is a considerable rural disparity in the availability of these LMH ALCs, largely because of the low numbers of ALCs in rural areas. This suggests that many adults may be underserved and have mental health needs that go uncared for depending on where they live.