Nursing homes confront new challenges with younger residents

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The numbers of nursing home residents under the age of 65 has grown 22% in the last eight years. This is largely due to the closing of mental health facilities and medical advances that help individuals survive traumatic illnesses and injuries, The Washington Post reported.

Patients between the ages of 31 and 64 account for 14% of the nursing home population, according to an independent analysis by National Public Radio. This presents a challenge to nursing home operators. Younger residents can feel more frustrated by being surrounded mostly by residents much older than them, which can cause social tensions and impact depression. Likewise, older residents complain about loud music younger residents listen to, and an influx of younger visitors.

Some operators have overcome this by setting aside separate wings for younger residents. Activity directors in some places are taking younger residents on outings to nightclubs, and replacing bingo nights with poker nights for younger residents, the Post reported.

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