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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