Nursing Home Restraints Fall – Anti-Anxiety Drugs Rise

According to a report released by the American Health Care Association and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, use of physical restraints, falls, and emotional and behavioral symptoms dropped at nursing and rehabilitation facilities across the country over the last decade. But other quality indicators, such as the prevalence of anti-anxiety drug use, increased.

The percentage of residents who were physically restrained fell from 9.3% in 2000 to 3.1% in 2009. The prevalence of anti-anxiety and hypnotic drug use increased from 17% to 23.1% over the last 10 years. Meanwhile, the percentage of nursing facility patients taking nine or more medications increased from 42.8% to 70.6% over that same period. The report is available online at or