CANHR: Stop Nursing Home Drugging


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This was sent to me by one of our moderators Celestra, who has been on the site for some time. CANHR is the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

CANHR, as an advocacy organization, and like many other sociological studies and investigations of nursing homes in the US, have found that the elderly in US nursing homes, and specifically California nursing homes, are often neglected, over-medicated, and mistreated. Our elderly are the givers of knowledge. They carry on and teach us about everything they have experienced in their lives. Without our elders, we could not be. Yet often times the elderly become forgotten, and in California, like New York, it would appear there is a major problem with state-run nursing homes.

Often times nursing home staff are overqualified and underpaid. I am reminded of a specifically brutal case of elder abuse that occurred in New York City where an elderly woman was left, in a wheelchair, on the roof of a nursing home, to die in the cold. These types of ruthless acts are the extreme - they're the ones that make the news. But think about how many elderly are being neglected whether it is through verbal, emotional, medical, or physical abuse.

Here in New York, the concern is so great, that many families with enough income saved, will find themselves spending a great deal of their savings or paycheck to ensure that their elder family members can be placed in a safe, non-state run facility that is well known. Much like the state run mental hospitals, and the horror stories, over nearly a century of those faced by those involuntarily committed, we need to look closer at how our elderly are being treated in nursing homes.

Nothing can justify the harming of another individual. Such an act violates the trust we place in our medical professionals and those we pay to look after our elderly. All too often, when an elderly man or woman is neglected in a nursing home, the family of the victim will shy away from filing a lawsuit because they cannot afford to hire a lawyer in state court.

In 2000, the elderly made up 13% of the population of the US, and that number is growing around the world. According to one source, citing the health care financing administration, the percentage of nursing homes cited for dispensing unnecessary drugs has risen steadily to 11% in 1996 from 2% in 1992. Who knows what that number is now?

That is why it is our duty, as people of integrity, to demand accountability to people who are doing others harm, whether through neglect, or malicious intent. That is why I feel it is important for me to relay Celestra's message to you all. Even if you do not live in California, I hope you will sign this petition.

According to CANHR:

"Drugging is a leading cause of elder abuse in California nursing homes. Each day, about 25,000 California nursing home residents – almost one of every four residents – are given antipsychotic drugs that greatly increase their risk of death. If you have dementia, the odds of being drugged are much worse. At least half of California nursing home residents with dementia are given antipsychotic drugs despite FDA “black box” warnings that these drugs cause elders with dementia to die.
Antipsychotic drugs cause misery as well as death. They have powerful mind-altering properties that can cause agitation, anxiety, confusion, disorientation and many other side effects. Too often, these drugs dull resident’s memories, sap their personalities and crush their spirits.

Why are antipsychotic drugs so widely used in California nursing homes? In many cases, nursing homes use them to sedate and control residents and as a substitute for needed care. Drug companies heavily promote misuse of these drugs through illegal marketing campaigns directed at doctors and nursing homes. Absentee doctors often rubber stamp drug orders requested by nursing home staff. Resident or family consent is rarely sought and almost never truly informed. State licensing officials are part of the problem due to poor enforcement of laws against drugging.

CANHR is dedicated and determined to stop the epidemic misuse of these drugs in California nursing homes but we need your help. Sign our petition and join our campaign. Read our guide, Toxic Medicine, to learn how to protect yourself or a loved one from inappropriate drugging. Share your experiences or recommendations through our blog.

Use this site to get better informed about the dangers of drugging and spread the word. Call us at 1-800-474-1116 if you need advice about someone who has been harmed by antipsychotic drugs or any other form of psychoactive drugs.

The time is now to end the inappropriate drugging of California’s nursing home residents."

Celestra said:
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Dear Mike,

As someone who desperately needs the use of a nursing home for a loved one, this issue has been called to my attention.

Restraint Drugs

We are petitioning the governor to stop the use of antipsychotic drugs.

Any Help Would Be Appreciated ...



[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Please do what you feel is right in this instance.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Thank you,[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mike Fara

Joe S

Excellent Member
My Dad died last month. I kept him here at home until the end. He had 8 blood stream infections in about 12 months. He was on dialysis for many years. Last year fell and broke a hip and was home a week and a half and fell and broke a vertebrae. The treatment in rehab was bad enough. Things will only get worse with the health care mess they passed. They intend to take 500 billion out of medicare. You don't have to be a genius to figure out will happen then.

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