If your fragile elder parent is in long-term care or assisted living and memory issues are ongoing or developing, take a few minutes to read or listen to a December 9, 2014 National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast, This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs. The piece, by Ina Jaffe, describes a long-term care community, Pathstone Living in Mankato, Minnesota and how the staff went about lowering the use of antipsychotic drugs.
The nursing home aimed to reduce the number of residents who were taking antipsychotic medications. Although they set modest goals for the first year, they experienced great success, discovering that they could take most people off the medications.
By extending the policy to other long-term care communities, the non-profit organization that runs Pathstone along with other long-term care communities, the organization set a new goal to reduce the drug use by 20% in the first year, but instead they reduced it by 97%. These communities achieved their goals by looking at each patient and seeking ways to directly address the reasons that the medication was given to each person in the first place.