Unfortunately, this is article is nothing new. It may be shocking to those who have been sheltered from the harsh realities of nursing homes but again, unfortunately, this is the reality.
What do people expect? Nursing homes are understaffed and underfunded. They are more concerned with making a profit than providing care. The problem is not the antipsychotics themselves, but rather the off-label use in a frail and elder population. Since 2005, they have carried a black box warning. The FDA and medical community is well aware of the dangers associated with the use of these drugs in dementia patients. Yet, there is nothing else. We know that at best, they provide marginal benefits that come with great risks but again what do you do?? When a patient becomes a danger to not only others but themselves, what do you do? What options are there?
I would think that this only highlights the desperate need for safer alternatives. Numbing and sedating patients is unethical especially when we know that these drugs only further their cognitive decline and increase their risks of serious adverse effects but what are the alternatives? Is this a necessary evil at this point?
It is shameful and a collective failure on the part of so many as to what is going on with eldercare in this country. We are failing the people who provided us with love, comfort, safety, and care when we came into this world and were most vulnerable. This is how we repay them?
In 2021, in the United States, we have elderly people being evacuated into warehouses during planned emergency evacuations. Warehouses that were only approved for storage use. PEOPLE, THIS IS CRAZY! They were kept in inhumane conditions, with a shortage of supplies including food and medical equipment! Is this how we take care of our people?
Nothing is done until there is a crisis. We have 8 million people suffering from dementia and some estimates have that number doubling by 2030. Baby boomers are aging and living longer. Unfortunately with age comes numerous medical conditions including dementia. At this point, we have a shortage of beds for long-term care, nurses and caregivers who are severely underpaid and undertrained, facilities that are underfunded and more worried about making a profit than providing care. It is simply not a good time to being aging in America.
Here's a crazy idea, imagine not spending the last 20 years raging war while losing thousands of innocent lives but instead investing in our own people, their education, their future, and preparing for this crisis. I'm sorry, I know I went on a rant but it is just so frustrating to watch knowing perfectly well that a lot of the issues that we currently face could and should have been better managed and prepared for.