Don’t Forget Those in Assisted Living

“Galvanized by the mounting evidence, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a national initiative that reduced antipsychotic medication use more than 20% by December 2014. In contrast, there is a conspicuous absence of visible action regarding antipsychotic use in assisted living, which provides care for almost 750,00 older adults (equivalent to half the size of the nursing home population) – an oversight noted in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report. As many as 90% of individuals in assisted living residences (ALRs) have some degree of age-related cognitive impairment, and more than 40% have moderate or severe cognitive impairment, but only a minority have severe mental illness. Together, these statistics suggest that the majority of antipsychotic use in ALRs is off-label and therefore as inappropriate and dangerous as it is in nursing homes.” (Zimmerman, Sheryl,¬†et al., Addressing Antipsychotic Use in Assisted Living Residents with Dementia, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 63, Issue 9, pp. 1970-1971, Sept. 2015.)

Read the full letter to the editor by clicking here.

 

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About achicotel

Anthony Chicotel is a staff attorney for CANHR. His areas of expertise include the rights of long-term care residents, nursing home litigation, health care decision-making, and conservatorships.
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