United States: Oversedation in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes across the United States routinely give antipsychotic drugs to residents with dementia to control their behavior, despite regulatory prohibitions on this misuse of drugs as “chemical restraints,” Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. This abusive practice remains widespread even though the use of antipsychotics is associated with a nearly doubled risk of death in older people with dementia.

The 110-page report, “‘They Want Docile’: How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia,” estimates that every week in US nursing facilities, more than 179,000 people, mostly older and living with dementia, are given antipsychotic drugs without a diagnosis for which their use is approved. Often, nursing facilities use these drugs without obtaining or even seeking informed consent. Using antipsychotic medications as a “chemical restraint”—for the convenience of staff or to discipline residents— violates federal regulations and may amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment under international human rights law.

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Written by lena

Foodie, Performer, Water Protector, Avid Baker, Syndicate Aggregator. I probably still live in my mom's basement.


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  1. Is there a way to refuse antipsychotic drugs on your entry form before even entering a nursing home? Think I'd try to insist on that before a nursing home gets any of my LTC insurance dollars. I'm a little amazed at how young some of these folks were when they went into a nursing home. My mom went first into independent living (where we used her LTC insurance to pay for an occasional helper), then assisted living, and finally to a nursing home for about 6 months at age 86. She was alert until she went into hospice the final week before her death.

  2. same happens here in Australia, i live in a nursing home in a younger onset cottage, most od the residents in my cottage sleep all day

  3. the nurses should go to jail. I saw in nursing homes and in mental facility, they keep sedating them for no reason at all. They simply want all of them to be quiet, to be stable and be a robot 24/7 so they don't need to do anything. Those nurses are fucking lazy. I even saw one sexy beautiful schizo patient was being molested by male caregivers. This is philippines that I am talking about. Carehomes are never safe believe me. Just hire a private nurse or maid and train them what to do and put lots of camera so you can monitor what they do. Asian carehomes aint safe as well.

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