Tips on Moving Family Into a Nursing Home
By L. Strickler; CBS News; 5/9/2011

A government report by the Health and Human Services Inspector General found that 88 percent of the time Medicare paid for antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes the medications went to patients with dementia, despite the fact that the FDA issued an extreme caution saying the medications ought not be utilized on patients with dementia due to a danger of sudden demise.

Moving a friend or family member with dementia into a nursing home can be quite upsetting for both the patient and relatives. Specialists say this is usually when nursing home inhabitants can get to be very upset and agitated. This can lead to patients being given antipsychotic drugs.

Dr. Kenneth Brubaker, a nursing home medicinal executive from Pennsylvania and board member from the American Medical Directors Association for long term care offices says nursing homes sometimes resort to sedation due to high staff turnover and absence of preparing. He offers tips for relatives who are working with their friends and family to make the move to a nursing home:

Dr. Brubaker says it's appropriate to ask nursing homes what percentage of patients are on antipsychotic drugs. In addition, he says families should ask what kinds of non-medicinal strategies the staff employs when a resident becomes agitated.

Brubaker suggests that family members should also ask if they would be able to stay in the same room as their family member for a few weeks while they become adjusted to their new surroundings. He says if the nursing home resists this request then that should be a red flag to the family.

He also suggests asking the facility if they have an ongoing continuing education program for the staff to educate them about dealing with dementia.

Brubaker adds, "I want to emphasize I think its extremely important that the family members become a part of the care team, family members really know as much if not more about their loved ones than anyone else does so they often times can have answers as to why there is aggressive behavior."

 

 

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