State officials, advocacy groups, nursing home industry representatives, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are coming together in support of an initiative to decrease the use of excessive anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes.
According to an article by the Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky.com), the federal initiative to improve dementia care seeks to reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs by 15% by December 31, 2012. The need for this initiative is evident in local nursing homes, says executive director of the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of theBluegrass, Sherry Culp. The Ombudsman Agency is a not-for-profit organization that serves Fayette in addition to 16 other counties.
Culp said that many people who are protesting the use of anti-psychotic drugs have either pulled their loved ones out of a nursing home because they have “noticed a decline in their loved one” or they have refused to put their loved in a nursing home because “the residents appeared sedated.”
Data on a national scale from CMS shows that in 2010, over 17% of nursing home residents were receiving daily doses that exceeded recommended levels. The founder of Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, Bernie Voderheide, said that this is often the nursing homes’ response to an understaffing problem; when they do not have enough staff, it is often easier to simply sedate the problem residents rather than hire the required employees.
There is no excuse for this kind of treatment of our elderly loved ones. If your loved one has suffered ill treatment or abuse while living in a nursing home, you may be able to gain compensation for their negligence. Contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Gray & White for a free consultation. Call us today at: 1-888-450-4456.