Drugging of Nursing Home Residents

Media Advisory: Latest Federal Data Reveal Widespread Antipsychotic Drugging of Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents

Despite Industry’s Claims of “Success” in Reducing Drugging, Rates Have Gone Up; Approx. 20% of Residents STILL Receiving Powerful, Potentially Lethal Meds

New York, NY, November 1, 2018— The inappropriate antipsychotic drugging of nursing home residents, particularly those with dementia, is a widespread, national problem. Despite the Food and Drug Administration’s ‘black box’ warnings against using antipsychotics on elderly patients, they are frequently used to treat the so-called behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. 

These and other psychotropic drugs are too often used as a form of chemical restraint, sedating residents so that not only their behaviors but also the underlying causes for those behaviors do not have to be addressed by staff.  In addition to destroying social and emotional well-being, these drugs greatly increase risks of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, Parkinsonism, and falls. They are not clinically indicated for dementia-related psychosis. They are associated with a significant increase in death when given to elderly people with dementia. 

Today, we are announcing the release of the Latest Drugging Rates for Every US Nursing Home. These data indicate that approximately 20% of residents – over 250,000 vulnerable residents – are being administered powerful antipsychotic drugs in our nursing homes today. Only 2% of the population will ever have a diagnosis for a condition which the government uses when it risk-adjusts for potentially appropriate use. “Too many residents and families are not even made aware of the dangerous potential side-effects of these drugs, or the fact that they are not clinically indicated for so-called dementia “behaviors,” said Richard Mollot, LTCCC’s executive director. In addition to data on nursing home drugging rates, LTCCC’s website, www.nursinghome411.org, has a range of information and resources for consumers and the public, including:  

Issue Alert on Antipsychotic Drugs: This alert explains how and why this is a significant issue for so many nursing home residents.  It includes a case study of a citation for inappropriate antipsychotic drugging.  

Dementia Care Advocacy Toolkit: Free resources to help families, and those who work with them, know their rights and advocate for less drugging and better care for their residents with dementia. 

Monthly Webinars: On the 3rd Thursday of every month we hold a free “lunch-and-learn” program open to all stakeholders on residents’ rights and quality of care issues.  

LTCCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights and welfare of long term care consumers in all settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and in their communities, by strengthening regulation, surveillance and enforcement. For more information on this and other long term care issues, visit www.nursinghome411.org.
Long Term Care Community Coalition
One Penn Plaza, Suite 6252
New York, NY 10119
United States 


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