The provincial government health service of Alberta, Canada recently concluded a successful pilot project that reduced the use of antipsychotic medications for patients with dementia in long-term care facilities by over 50%, according to Global News.
The pilot involved 11 long-term care facilities, and at one home the number of patients on antipsychotics dropped from 66 residents to just five. “Staff say the differences they’ve since seen in their patients have been incredible,” reports Global News.
Care providers report that using more personalized approaches such as moving bath times or letting patients sleep in or have an afternoon nap have made a huge difference. “We’ve had a number of residents who are now enjoying what they enjoyed before — so playing the piano, knitting, recognizing their loved ones,” one carer said.
“For many years, she needed assistance at every meal when eating or drinking. A few months ago, I was surprised to see that she could eat and drink by herself,” one person tearfully recounted to Global News about his aunt who’d been taken off antipsychotics. “On her 98th birthday she proceeded to read her birthday cards and thank all the persons individually — again, another surprise.”
“The initiative is now being rolled out to long-term care facilities across Alberta,” reports Global News.
Reducing certain medications makes ‘huge difference’ for some dementia patients (Global News, September 10, 2014)