Old? Weak? Tired? Have dementia? The answer to these ailments in some nursing homes is to prescribe antipsychotic drugs to subdue any signs of energy and life left in residents suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A whopping one-third of all nursing home residents are prescribed antipsychotic drugs such as: Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa.
Prescription of antipsychotic drugs is big business for their makers. Sales of Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa have more than tripled from 2000 to 2007. Dispensation of the drugs is also often profitable for the facilities where the patients reside. Every time medication is given, it is an opportunity for a nursing home to charge. Most often the charges are tacked onto the Medicare and Medicaid tab.
Use of antipsychotic drugs continues despite recent studies that have demonstrated their ineffectiveness in Alzheimer’s patients with aggressiveness and delusions. The wide spread use of antipsychotic drugs covers up the fact that most facilities are understaffed. It is far easier to have a patient down a couple of pills than to provide skilled nurses, psychiatrists and therapists to treat their underlying needs.
Read the full New York Times article on overuse of medication in dementia here.
For more information on nursing homes in New York look here. For laws related to New York nursing homes, look here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in New York , Buffalo and Rochester