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Blumenthal Submits Bill Limiting Antipsychotics Use in Nursing Homes

Another group of advocates for the elderly also is seeking a 50 percent reduction on the use of the drugs in Connecticut nursing homes.

 

State and federal officials are pushing to limit nursing homes in Connecticut from using antipsychotic drugs, which some say the facilities use too often to calm or quiet patients with dementia.

Democrat Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s junior senator from Greenwich, announced Tuesday that he has submitted legislation to limit the use of so-called “off-label” anti-psychotic medications in nursing homes, according to a report by ctmirror.org. Blumenthal said such those drugs are frequently used by nursing home staff as a form of “chemical restraint” for more difficult to manage patients, many of whom suffer from dementia.

"It is a form of elder abuse,” Blumenthal said in announcing the legislation. “It's chemical restraint — no less pernicious and insidious than physical restraint of patients — and it should be stopped."

At the same time, groups advocating for the elderly in Connecticut announced that they would seek to limit the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes by 50 percent.

Connecticut nursing homes use off-label antipsychotic drugs 24 percent to 65 percent of the time, while the national average is 23.9 percent, Nancy B. Shaffer, state ombudsman for Connecticut’s office of long-term care, told ctmirror.org.

In other legislative news, Blumenthal recently offered his support for a bill that would regulate "misleading" colleges and punish unsatisfactory schools.

nixbadcare October 03, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Finally!! This is the truth, these drugs are too easily prescribed. A patient is asked 5 questions, and from this a diagnosis is made and drugs with worse side effects than the dementia itself occur. My father was given anti-psychotic meds numerous times. We never met the doctor and were only told once that he was on one of these drugs. We saw complete disorientation, manic behavior and quite the opposite of what the drug was intended for, not to mention he was not psycholtic...."simply aggitated". Talking solely to a patient with dementia, not speaking with family and dispensing these horrific drugs is a crime. Elderly do not respond the same to most drugs (especially anti-psychotic, tranquilizers, mood stabilizers and the like. Most staff has no idea what is not the normal for a patient, fa,ilies need to be more informed, and families, ASK ASK ASK or you probably won't be told.
DrLiz October 04, 2012 at 01:04 PM
This bill is critically important. My father who recently entered a nursing home for physical reasons was visited by the home's psychiatrist for about 3 minutes. He asked my father if he was depressed. My father said - I have good days and bad days. On that after meeting my father for the first time, and without consulting me, his named advocate, or his doctor, or discussing it with my father, this psychiatrist decided my father needed anti- depressants. Luckily my father mentioned that a disheveled looking doctor spoke with him and asked him a few questions (like the previous post noted). My father said - of course I'm depressed some days - I'm in a nursing home for gods sake!" I tracked it down, spoke with the right people and insisted that he never be given any mind- altering drugs ever and if someone is suggesting that he needs something that they talk to me first. Luckily my father has all his "marbles" and can push back. What about all the other mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and grandparents who can't? Is this really how we want to treat our loved ones - like a non- person with no rights? Is that how we want to be treated if we wind up in a nursing home? Please pass this bill.

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