Massachusetts House votes to close loophole on Alzheimer’s care:

Bill would set unit standards

Kay Lazar, Globe staff, The Boston Globe

A loophole in Massachusetts law that allows nursing homes to advertise specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care units, even though their workers may have no training in caring for such residents, is one step closer to being closed. Massachusetts is one of a handful of states without such requirements. A 2005 federal report noted that 44 states at that time had requirements governing training, staffing, security, and other areas for facilities that provided specialized dementia care … A recent Boston Glove investigation, which analyzed data on nursing homes nationwide, found a clear link between nursing home staffing levels and the overuse of powerful sedatives called antipsychotics, which are often prescribed for residents with dementia to control agitation, despite government drug regulators’ warnings about safety risks.