X Close Window

Enter zip to see local ads
All Zip Areas

View Sponsor Directory


Tell A Friend!

What is Male Menopause?

Find out about it here

Tai Chi and Qigong improves health and balance!

We have found the most effective home study  course on the market. Check out the site.

Nancy Henirich has written a wonderful Diabetes Book:

Healthy Living with Diabetes, One Small Step At a Time

Like Us on Facebook

Suggestions Email image

Health ... Conditions

Is Your Loved One Overmedicated?

from Johns Hopkins Health Alerts

Behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia can be extremely challenging and distressing for patients and their caregivers. Antipsychotic medications may be the only option if the patient's behavior is potentially harmful to him- or herself or to others.

Antipsychotic medications are often prescribed "off-label" for dementia patients in nursing homes to alleviate the agitation, aggression or psychotic behavior that is either distressing to the patient or makes the patient a danger, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drugs for the treatment of behavioral symptoms of dementia. What's more, antipsychotics carry an FDA black box warning that older patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death.

Drugs versus alternatives

There are ways to deal with difficult dementia patients that don't involve the use of drugs. Once a medical cause has been ruled out, the nursing and medical staff should look for environmental triggers that can be avoided or minimized.

  • Changes in the environment might include increasing contact with caregivers, switching roommates, adjusting the temperature in the room or providing stimulating activities.
  • Simply paying attention to a patient can often ease disruptive symptoms.
  • In some cases, difficult behavior can be safely managed by reducing boredom -- providing intellectual and physical stimulation, exercise, calming music or pet therapy.

However, if someone is in psychological agony and nondrug approaches have failed, medication might help.The risks and benefits of prescribing antipsychotics to people with dementia need to be carefully considered.  While dementia patients are difficult to care for, even when drugs are administered, the practice of overmedication to make patients "manageable" is certainly not acceptable.

Advocating for your loved one with dementia

When someone with dementia is cared for in a nursing home, the support of family and friends is still critical, since the person can't adequately advocate on his or her own part. Family members must learn about the medications that are being dispensed, the reasons for their use, proper dosages and possible side effects.

If you notice that your loved one seems to be showing greater confusion after starting a drug, say something. Bring this to the attention of the doctor who prescribed the medication and discuss what steps can be taken to improve his or her quality of life. By maintaining this dialogue, you will be doing everything you can to ensure the best care for your loved one.

This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information.

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults Myth 1: There no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway. Fact:Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high […]

More Articles

Your Heart Attack Action Plan

Animation - Alzheimer

What you need to know about Arthritis

Tai Chi and Diabetes

Diabeitc footwear - a quick overview

Foot Pain Can Mean Trouble

Eye diseases of the elderly

Seniors, Skin and Sun Myths

Cardiac Rehab Works: Here's How

So what type of foot do you have?

Hearing Loss, Aging and Adaptive Devices

Is it dementia, depression or both

Your Memory Timeline - stages of brain aging

Do You Have a Thyroid Disorder?

Myths and Misconceptions About Insulin Therapy

Sorting Out Symptoms of Stress and Urge Incontinence

Talking About Hip Fractures with Dr. Bellantoni

The National Salt Reduction Initiative

5 Common Myths about Incontinence

Incontinence and Bladder Irritants

How Seniors Can Stay Mentally Sharp

Exercise and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

How Does Hypertension Affect Memory

Depression in Older Adults - Signs and Symptoms

Can Baby Boomers Dodge the Alzheimer's Bullet?

Retinal Detachment - Warning Signs to Look For

Four Key Characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hoarding: From Cluttered to Clinical

Treating Cataracts: an overview

Hypertension Related Risks to Your Vison

Osteoporosis Preventative Measures

Protein-Rich Diets in Osteoporosis Prevention

3 Common Signs of Functional Decline

3 More Signs of Functional Decline

The Sobering Facts About Hip Fracture

9 Important Post Heart Attack Steps to Follow

10 Steps to Lower Triglycerides

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Your Colon Cancer Diagnosis

The Concerns That Keep Us Awake At Night

What could be causing my parents cognitive impairment

Medication Assistance Programs

Is Your Loved One Overmedicated

Sleep Strategies for COPD

Beating the Brain Attack: An Overview of Strokes

Six Signs That Memory Loss May Be Serious

Helping a Loved One To Fight Their Addiction

Caring for Cancer: A True Journey