In many cases, psychoactive or psychotropic drugs such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antianxiety medications can improve the quality of care in long-term and residential care settings. On the other hand, inappropriate use can result in unnecessary medication side effects and a decline in medical and cognitive conditions. Use in seniors with dementia is a special concern.
In 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which set and achieved a goal of a 15% reduction in antipsychotic usage by the end of 2019.
Unfortunately, some reports suggest that the global pandemic has eroded that success over the last two years. As we resume operations in the “new” normal, there is an opportunity to focus again on ensuring appropriate psychotropic use in long-term and residential care.