Birchwood Cottage Medication Reduction Program
Dementia Related Behavior and Medication Usage
Birchwood Cottages is the industry leader in person-centered care. It is no surprise to family members that memory loss often comes with behaviors that make it difficult to care for their loved one. In fact, it is these behaviors that most often necessitate a move out of their home. It also can result in people with dementia being prescribed antipsychotic medications that come with harmful side effects and negative outcomes.
The practice of over prescribing antipsychotic sedatives in nursing homes for normal human behaviors such as crying and being resistant to cares resulted in the federal government regulating the use of antipsychotic sedatives for dementia patients. The new guidelines stipulate that nursing homes are graded on the percent of their dementia patients receiving antipsychotic medications. That figure becomes part of their rating on Nursing Home Compare, a tool provided by Medicare to help educate consumers.
Birchwood Cottages continually examines our residents' medications to see how we can partner with their family and medical provider to reduce or eliminate any unneeded medications. When these medications are reduced or eliminated, there can sometimes be an increase in their behavior that we address using a holistic process involving music, engagement, essential oils, and massage. This approach is not to say that traditional medicine does not have a place in treatment of dementia, but rather, by incorporating non-traditional, non-medical treatments we can often produce the desired result. Likewise, increase loved ones recollection and recognition with additionally bettering the lifestyle of people with memory loss.