When Person-Directed Care Really Works
A new study spreads good news about the use of antipsychotic medication. It’s going away. Tennessee ranked fifth nationally in dementia drug reduction following a two year study period.
This success is due to a strong movement towards person-directed care that Tennessee has embraced. This week the state’s efforts were highlighted by The Tennessean for their reduction of antipsychotic medication usage:
The data is collected on patients whose diagnosis indicates they are not candidates for antipsychotic drugs.
State officials attribute the reduction in Tennessee from 29.27 percent of nursing home patients in the first quarter of 2011 to 25.02 percent in the first quarter of this year to a series of training workshops for nursing home staffers conducted last year with a federal grant.
The sessions, including methods to deal with patients’ behavior without medication, were held across the state by The Eden Alternative, a New York state nonprofit.
Federal health officials have been waging a national campaign to cut antipsychotic drug use on patients with dementia because of the potential for adverse effects, including death.
The Eden Alternative did a number of Dementia Beyond Drug trainings around the Volunteer State in an effort reduce the use of antipsychotics in treating the symptoms of dementia. Tennessee had one of the worst medication rates in the country going into this study period, so we are so encouraged by the rate at which they are improving.
The Dementia Beyond Drugs training, created by Eden Mentor Dr. Al Power, focuses on better communication and empathy in the caring process. The positive effect is that the Elder is more engaged, less agitated, and don’t need medication.
While Tennessee still has a high rate of medication we are excited to see the shift towards a life worth living. Way to go Tennessee.