A recent study found that state nursing homes are over-prescribing antipsychotic drugs. Further investigation found that state investigators cited Texas nursing homes 1,060 times for medication errors in 2011. In 2013, that number rose by nearly 200.
The AARP conducted a study on nursing home care across the country. It found that Texas nursing homes inappropriately administer antipsychotic drugs to residents with no mental illness more than any other state. Amanda Fredriksen, who works for AARP explained, “These are things that are completely preventable. They shouldn’t happen.” Fredriksen went on to say that overmedicating is a sign that facilities likely don’t have enough staff, and it is often easier to overmedicate patients to calm them down and make them easier to handle.
The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), the agency which regulates Texas nursing homes, has responded. Melissa Gale, a spokesperson for DADS has stated they have started a program to better train nursing home staff on medication administration, especially antipsychotic drugs. The program is called TRAIN, which stands for Texas Reducing Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes. DADS has held six training sessions across Texas so far.
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