Are Nursing Homes Over-Drugging Their Residents?

Categories: Health
According to the San Francisco-based organization California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), more than 25,000 California nursing-home residents are being given anti-psychotic drugs. That's about a quarter of the state's nursing-home population, and according to CANHR and other elder-rights activists, it's a figure that's way too high -- particularly considering the negative side effects these medications can have.

"They're being sedated into zombie-hood," says CANHR staff lawyer Tony Chicotel. He adds that anti-psychotic medications increase the risk of death among seniors, are prescribed in place of more effective non-drug methods for handling patients with dementia, and are often give without obtaining patients' consent.

"They're very rarely asked whether they want to take the medication," Chicotel says.

Over-drugging of nursing home residents will be the subject of a day-long forum to take place Thursday, Oct. 27, at the South San Francisco Convention Center. Chicotel will give a presentation at the event, along with other advocates and professionals in the field.

While some doctors still argue that medications are a practical way of controlling otherwise intractable older dementia patients with symptoms of psychosis, many medical experts are beginning to revisit policies on prescribing drugs to nursing-home residents.

The forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can check out more information on it here.

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I will never send my parents on nursing homes ifthat's the case. I wouldn't risk their lives.


No one is surprised by this.  Seriously - everyone already knew this.  The staff doesn't want to have to "deal" with our aged population so why not just give them drugs to keep them quiet.  Hopefully, as people live longer and are going into nursing homes later in life, this will change.  What makes me SO mad is that healthcare professionals think that just because we are old that we must have dementia.  Can't wait to hear the results of the meeting tomorrow.

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