Nursing home meds
NEARLY two-thirds of nursing home residents are given psychiatric drugs every day according to a drug-use survey by the University of Tasmania.
The data showed that
61% of 11,300 residents in
150 homes were on daily doses of benzodiazepines or antidepressants, many of which were given for their sedative function.
The study found that these drugs were often inappropriately prescribed with experts saying these high rates demonstrate the prevalence of chemical restraint in nursing homes, especially to help with behaviour control for those with dementia.
Limits on staff numbers make it difficult for nursing staff to manage behaviours such as wandering, agitation and calling out.
Mandated staff-to-resident ratios could help reduce chemical restraint to a last resort, authors wrote.