Our friends at Justice in Aging (JIA) have released a new Issue Brief focused on why so many (up to 80%!) nursing home residents are drugged with psychotropic drugs. JIA argues that residents’ rights to consent or refuse psych drugs after receiving information from the presciber about risks, benefits, and alternatives are often ignored. Government officials, healthcare providers, and even resident advocates have spent most of their effort to reduce the misuse of psych drugs on persuading providers to be better, and relying heavily on state surveyors to issue citations after proving when a psych drug is used improperly. Many providers simply ignore the call to be better and the state surveyors are simply unable to keep up and properly cite all of the misuse.
JIA is promoting a better approach to eradicate psych drug misuse: by addressing it at the resident level and ensuring that informed consent is a reality and not just a regulation. True resident-centered care is about recognizing and enforcing informed consent rights and must be better integrated into existing survey/enforcement efforts.
CANHR also believes strongly that informed consent is the best protection against psych drug misuse. We are sponsoring AB 48, state legislation that will require written informed consent be obtained before psych drugs are given to nursing home residents.