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Nursing homes sedate residents with dementia by misusing antipsychotic drugs, report finds

Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Children complained about parents who were robbed of their personalities and turned into zombies. Residents remembered slurring their words and being unable to think or stay awake. Former administrators admitted doling out drugs without having appropriate diagnoses, securing informed consent or divulging risks. These are just some of the findings outlined in a new Human Rights Watch report, “‘They want docile:’ How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia.” The 157-page report, released Monday, estimates that each week more than 179,000 people living in US nursing facilities are given antipsychotic medications, even though they don’t have the approved psychiatric diagnoses — like schizophrenia — to warrant use of the drugs. Most of these residents are older and have dementia, and researchers say the antipsychotic medications are administered as a cost-effective “chemical restraint” to suppress behaviors and ease the load on overwhelmed staff.

What’s revealed in this report echoes the findings of a CNN investigation published in October. The CNN story described how one little red pill, Nuedexta, was being misused and overprescribed in nursing homes. What’s more, CNN learned that this overuse benefited the drugmaker to a tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, largely at the expense of the US government. The CNN report prompted an investigation into a California-based pharmaceutical company. The Human Rights Watch report shows that concerns about overmedicating nursing home residents with inappropriate drugs extends beyond this one pill.

Read the rest here:
http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/05/health/nursing-homes-dementia-antipsychotic-drugs/index.html

Florida retirement home shut down months after attack on 86-year-old

Elizabeth Cohen and Michael Nedelman, CNN

CNN – A newly uncovered video of a resident at an assisted living facility in Florida mercilessly beating another resident raises new questions about the safety of the elderly in places meant to protect and care for them. In the video obtained last week, a 52-year-old resident is seen punching an 86-year-old resident with dementia more than 50 times as the older man lay curled up on the floor. The younger resident accused the older resident of eating his cupcake according to law enforcement. The video was taken by the facility’s closed circuit surveillance system and later turned over to the police who shared it with CNN. The facility – Good Samaritan Retirement Home in Williston – had a history of violations, and more sanctions in the past than any other assisted living facility in Florida. In December 2017, two administrators were arrested in connection with separate incidents on charges of neglect and abuse.

Read the rest and view the video here:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/28/health/retirement-home-neglect florida/index.html

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