Nursing Homes Cited For Widespread Overuse of Anti-Psychotics in Nursing Homes

Officials in one state have taken action against twenty-seven nursing homes for continued unnecessary use of anti-psychotics between 2009 and 2011. The citations did not come with fines, but inspection reports reveal that some residents remained on anti-psychotics for months, or even years, with no attempts by staff to reduce their dependance on the drugs. Additionally, some of the residents were so heavily medicated they were unable to speak, eat, or drink.

Anti-psychotics are intended for patients with severe mental illnesses but are often used instead to control residents who act out. Often, dementia patients are placed on anti-psychotics despite the fatal side effects that can occur.  These side effects are difficult for families to see because they often occur gradually over time. These potentially fatal consequences have sparked legislators to begin drafting legislation to prevent the overuse of anti-psychotics. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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