NC Leads Nation in Reducing Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

Statistics from a collaborative effort to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs to control troublesome behavior by people with dementia in nursing homes shows that North Carolina led the nation in achieving reductions.
September 13, 2013

Statistics from a collaborative effort to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs to control troublesome behavior by people with dementia in nursing homes shows that North Carolina led the nation in achieving reductions.

Nursing homes in the state are administering such medications to 23 percent fewer residents than they were in early 2012, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The agency had set a target reduction of 15 percent.

North Carolina has become a national leader in the movement to encourage medical professionals and nursing home staff to use alternative methods, including massage, exercise and familiar music, to deal with residents with dementia, who might otherwise act out, hit, kick, bite or scream.

Overuse of antipsychotics can result in lessened independence, confusion, falls and increased risk of strokes, according to the federal Administration on Aging.

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