National reports by Human rights advocates say that nursing homes are overprescribing antipsychotics to patients. According to the latest data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, the percentage of long-term nursing home residents being given antipsychotic drugs dropped from about 24 percent in late 2011 to under 16 percent last year. Yet advocacy groups reveal that misuse of drugs remains a major problem in nursing facilities.
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 report comes as lawmakers and researchers are warning of a wave of aging baby boomers. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. The number of people with Alzheimer’s could triple by 2050.
According to the FDA cautions that these drugs that are being used in Nursing homes pose dangers for elderly patients with dementia, even doubling the risk of death, the report shows. More side effects outlined in the report include an onset of nervous system problems that may cause “severe muscular rigidity” or “jerking movements,” as well as low blood pressure, high blood sugar, blood clots and other problems.
.The federal government has been blamed for allowing the misuse by doing little to protect vulnerable residents from abuse’ even though they pay for the majority of nursing home residents’ care through the public health program Medicaid.