Excessive Antipsychotic Medication Use Reported in Nursing Homes

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

CNN released an article with some of the findings outlined in a new Human Rights Watch report, "'They want docile:' How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia."

Sadly this article rings true. In many cases, residents are experiencing excessive antipsychotic medication use to manage their behaviors. In 2016 Diamond started a program called Treatment in Place® at Senior Living Facilities. This program helps the staff at nursing homes and other senior living facilities learn how to care for, and manage, patients who have dementia or other behavioral health needs. Diamond provides expert training, access to mental health professionals, and a daily clinical program schedule, all designed to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs.

The link to the CNN article is below: (CNN) Children complained about parents who were robbed of their personalities and turned into zombies. Residents remembered slurring their words and being unable to think or stay awake. Former administrators admitted doling out drugs without having appropriate diagnoses, securing informed consent or divulging risks. These are just some of the findings outlined in a new Human Rights Watch report, "'They want docile:' How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia."

The 157-page report, released Monday, estimates that each week more than 179,000 people living in US nursing facilities are given antipsychotic medications, even though they don't have the approved psychiatric diagnoses -- like schizophrenia -- to warrant use of the drugs. Most of these residents are older and have dementia, and researchers say the antipsychotic medications are administered as a cost-effective "chemical restraint" to suppress behaviors and ease the load on overwhelmed staff.   click to read