Many times I’ve written about the over-medication of the elderly – especially with anti-psychotics. Despite the fact that anti-psychotics are supposedly only for a small percentage of the elderly, many nursing home residents with dementia are given these drugs even though some have FDA warnings of an increased risk of death. This overuse of anti-psychotics was confirmed in a recent government audit.
It appears that the message is finally being heard. A recent article reports that nursing homes are beginning to reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs. This is a positive development. Instead of chemically controlling people, nursing homes are beginning to use alternative methods to treat Alzheimer’s and dementia. These therapies are in many cases reported to be more effective.
Chemically controlling residents for the sake of convenience or punishment is illegal in New Jersey. Knowing what medications a resident is taking is important.