Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are Nursing Homes Over-Drugging Their Residents?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

click to enlarge pills1.jpg

According to the San Francisco-based organization California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), more than 25,000 California nursing-home residents are being given anti-psychotic drugs. That's about a quarter of the state's nursing-home population, and according to CANHR and other elder-rights activists, it's a figure that's way too high -- particularly considering the negative side effects these medications can have.

"They're being sedated into zombie-hood," says CANHR staff lawyer Tony Chicotel. He adds that anti-psychotic medications increase the risk of death among seniors, are prescribed in place of more effective non-drug methods for handling patients with dementia, and are often give without obtaining patients' consent.

"They're very rarely asked whether they want to take the medication," Chicotel says.

Over-drugging of nursing home residents will be the subject of a day-long forum to take place Thursday, Oct. 27, at the South San Francisco Convention Center. Chicotel will give a presentation at the event, along with other advocates and professionals in the field.

While some doctors still argue that medications are a practical way of controlling otherwise intractable older dementia patients with symptoms of psychosis, many medical experts are beginning to revisit policies on prescribing drugs to nursing-home residents.

The forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can check out more information on it here.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Peter Jamison


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Permanent Residents

    San Francisco is not just skin deep to these folks — it's a permanent resident of their bodies and souls. They may be scattered far and wide — everywhere from Bernal Heights to Brooklyn, El Paso, Tokyo, and beyond — but the one thing these self-defined San Franciscans all share is a deep commitment to the city by the Bay.

    Interviewers: Matt Saincome, Julia Carrie Wong, and Peter Lawrence Kane

  • SF Pride Parade 2015
    A sea of spectators gathered along Market Street on Sunday, June 28 for the SF Pride Parade. Photographs by Calibree Photography.