Nursing home patients should never be prescribed a medication out of convenience, especially ones with great risks, like psychotropics. Psychotropic drugs are any drugs that affect the mind, emotions or behaviors. Antipsychotic drugs are a class of these medications used to treat psychosis, including schizophrenia, paranoia, delusions and bipolar disorder.
A recent study performed by University of Michigan Geriatric Psychiatrist Donovan Maust found that seniors are being prescribed more psychiatric medications than necessary, and non-medication approaches to treatment are often being ignored. This overuse of drugs is likely due to the fact that giving a pill is easier than more time-consuming solutions like therapy or meditation.
The problem with this quick solution use of medication is that psychotropic drugs pose great risks to the elderly. On the other hand, non-drug approaches can be as effective as psychotropic medications without causing these risks.
Though antipsychotic overuse is not limited to nursing homes, elderly patients are especially vulnerable to its effects. Their frailty and age make it difficult for them to recover from complications.
It’s time that nursing homes across the country, including those in South Carolina, reexamine their treatment plans and begin evaluating antipsychotic use to optimize effectiveness and limit risks. Non-medication treatment plans are becoming more popular in hospitals but are still rare in nursing homes.
Nursing home patients deserve careful, conscientious care, and it’s time to take steps to ensure they receive it.
Greenville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Andy Arnold is a Greenville nursing home abuse lawyer serving the citizens of South Carolina. If you suspect your loved one has been given medication that caused illness, injury or death, call Andy at 864-233-4351.