Our team at Brown & Barron, LLC encourages you to attend the “Knowing Your Rights Webinar” on Dec. 19, 2019, at 2 p.m. EST.
In the nursing home environment, vulnerable patients depend on caretakers for everyday functions like eating, drinking, mobility, and even going to the bathroom. Many nursing home residents also have dementia, which is associated with behavioral and psychological symptoms like aggression, agitation, irritability, and wandering. While these symptoms may make patients harder to care for, nursing homes should not be excused from using an entirely inappropriate solution: antipsychotic drugs.
The use of antipsychotic medications in elderly patients with dementia is known to increase the risk of death by 100%, and even “double mortality” in some situations. Nevertheless, caretakers frequently use these drugs for the off-label purpose of sedating nursing home residents. Many patients are drugged without their consent, and some are slipped antipsychotics like Seroquel, Haldol, and Risperdal without their knowledge or awareness.
While the medications have the temporary effect of tranquilizing residents, they also have the potential for severe side effects like diabetes, blood clots, strokes, problems with the nervous system, cognitive decompensation, and death. The drugs have a black-box warning label dissuading their use in patients with dementia-related psychosis and are often administered without free and informed consent.
On Dec. 19, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care is hosting the “Avoiding Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotic Drugs: Knowing Your Rights Webinar” to provide a resource for patients and family members who have questions or concerns about the use of antipsychotic drugs.
The Webinar will discuss when the use of antipsychotic medication is warranted (with a clinical diagnosis) and give examples of inappropriate use. Attendees will hear from an affected family member about the impact of misused antipsychotics and learn about their rights, including informed consent.
Consumer voice will also share resources and advice on individualized care, let attendees know where they can go for help, and provide relevant information about the topic.
An Additional Resource
Here at Brown & Barron, LLC, we invite you to use our firm as a resource. If you believe your loved one is being mistreated with antipsychotic drugs, our attorneys may be able to help. We have over 75 years of collective experience handling cases of nursing home abuse and neglect and have offered decades of skilled and compassionate representation to our Baltimore clients.