Consumer Fact Sheet on Antipsychotic Medications Available

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living Center (AHCA/NCAL) released a consumer fact sheet on the use of antipsychotic medications for residents living with dementia in skilled nursing and assisted living.

‰ÛÏThe long term care profession has made significant progress in safely reducing the off-label use of antipsychotics, but providers cannot solve this issue in a vacuum,‰Û said AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson. ‰ÛÏWe must educate our residents‰Ûª family members and involve them in the decision-making process.‰Û

‰ÛÜThe consumer fact sheet provides background on the issue of antipsychotic medications in persons living with dementia and answers commonly asked questions among family members. It also encourages consumers to get involved with their loved one‰Ûªs care by asking specific questions to caregivers. AHCA/NCAL also created a Spanish version of the consumer fact sheet.

‰ÛÏMost individuals receiving an antipsychotic in a long term care facility were already prescribed the drug before they were even admitted. Sometimes, the most difficult thing is convincing a family member that their loved one no longer needs this medication,‰Û said Dr. David Gifford, AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs and a geriatrician. ‰ÛÏWith a better understanding of the disease process and personal knowledge of their loved one, consumers will help us provide person-centered care without turning to antipsychotic medications.‰Û

The AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative has a goal to safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by 15 percent by the end of 2013. Skilled nursing care centers have already reduced these medications by 10.5 percent, as of the end of the first quarter of 2013.åÊ

More information on the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative.

Also visit AHCA/NCAL‰Ûªs webpage on antipsychotics.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities.