Mental Health Concerns of Older Adults Living in Long-Term Care Facilities: An Area of Expansion for MFTs


Mental health, Care Facilities, Retirement age adults


As baby boomers reach retirement age, the number of older adults living in long-term care will inevitably increase. Living in long-term care often brings psychological, relational, and emotional challenges for older adults, their families, and professional care-providers. Despite these trends and associated challenges, there appears to be an underrepresentation of attention addressing the mental health care of older adults and their families in marriage and family therapy (MFT) literature. Emphasis needs to be turned to assessing the quality and effectiveness of mental health resources for older adults in residential facilities, and to filling the gap where needed services are unavailable. The current review summarizes research addressing residential care for older adults, detailing a) mental health challenges faced by residents, families, and professional care-providers, b) effective mental health treatment options, and c) how MFTs are uniquely suited to working in long-term care settings.

Original Publication Citation

Webster, T., Yorgason, J.B., *Maag, A., *Clifford, C., *Baxter, K., & *Thompson, D. (2016). Mental health concerns of older adults living in long term care facilities: An area of expansion for MFTs. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 44, 272-284. doi:10.1080/01926187.2016.1214088

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The American Journal of Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor