While the use of antipsychotic drugs in long term care facilities has been steadily decreasing in recent years, it remains an issue that facilities must be diligent about to ensure these drugs are used appropriately. Knowledge about the use of antipsychotics to treat behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is imperative.
Improving behavioral health and reducing antipsychotics is a team approach, and long term care communities cannot rely on psychiatric consultants alone. Everyone must understand appropriate use, risks, and strategies for implementing gradual dose reduction of antipsychotics and interdisciplinary communication is critical to ensure that this is done safely and effectively.
How much do you and your staff know about this critical topic? We’ve attached a “fact sheet” with information about antipsychotic use, gradual dose reduction strategies, and non-pharmacological approaches to BPSD. Please read it, forward it to staff, and even print and distribute it at your next staff meeting. Once everyone has had a chance to review the information, share the case study questions with them (also attached—one file includes the correct answers and rationales, and the other is WITHOUT the answers). Can you identify a few areas where staff would benefit from more education?
We hope this information leads to some fruitful discussions with your colleagues, and encourage you to discuss this further with your interventionist at your next stakeholder meeting.
Have a great week!