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They Want Docile

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2018 | Nursing Home Abuse

Human Rights Watch has recently released a paper entitled “’They Want Docile’: How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia.” This paper details an investigation conducted by Human Rights Watch across the United States pertaining to the overuse and abuse of anti-psychotic drugs on the elderly in nursing homes. Human Rights Watch spoke to staff, residents, and families of 109 nursing homes, including 23 nursing homes in Florida. HRW found that nursing homes in the U.S. use antipsychotic medications on a massive scale. HRW also discovered that antipsychotic drugs are used almost by default for the convenience of the facilities, including to control people who are difficult to manage. One of the Directors of Nursing admitted, “We are supposed to be doing informed consent. It’s on the agenda. But anti-psychotics are a go-to thing. ‘Give ‘em some Risperdal and Seroquel.’” Ironically, Human Rights Watch found a few nursing homes which had begun to drastically reduce antipsychotics. These nursing homes noted positive outcomes in resident behavior. Describing the transition, one caregiver explained, “At first, everyone was like, ‘This is going to be awful. What do they want us to do?’ But we started with a resident with fewer behaviors, and just did one or two a week. It was amazing. It’s helpful. It actually minimizes behaviors.” Another caregiver noted, “Before, when we slapped them with antipsychotics, they had to be in a wheelchair they were so drugged up. But now that we’re meeting their needs, it’s easier on the staff. Their ADLs are better. They’re functioning.” You can read the entire paper here:…