Effective Medication Management in Individuals with Dementia
Individuals with dementia are at higher risk of dangerous side effects when taking certain medications including antipsychotics. These risks include increased falls, lethargy, and even death. The United States government has recognized this danger and has concerted efforts in recent years to reduce the use of antipsychotics and other potentially harmful drugs within nursing homes. The high level of comorbidities (simultaneous chronic diseases/conditions) inherent to individuals within nursing homes and long-term care facilities sometimes require multiple medications, making this necessary reduction in medications a difficult venture.
Vice President of Neuropsychiatry, Anita Reid MSN, knows these risks and explains how GuideStar Eldercare helps both patients and facilities in these complex situations:
At GuideStar Eldercare, our mission is to alleviate suffering and we take this quite literally. Managing medication overload in this population is our priority. We work with individuals, families, caregivers and facility staff to reduce medication usage that is causing widespread, yet often unseen, harm to our parents and our grandparents. It is a serious situation, yet its impact remains almost invisible to many patients and health care professionals. We strive to address this issue daily from the bedside to improve the quality of care for these individuals.