More hugs, less drugs!
That’s what the BC Care Providers Association is advocating for, as it updates its guidelines to reduce the need for anti-psychotic medications in residential care facilities.
CEO Daniel Fontaine says there are other methods to treat people with dementia.
“There are things like music therapy and there are other alternatives that can help reduce aggression that don’t require medication.”
BC’s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says B.C. is making progress, but is still lagging behind other provinces.
“28.6% is the number in British Columbia of residents on anti-psychotics without a supporting diagnoses of psychosis, and that’s down from what it was at 30.1% last year so that is good news. But in Manitoba that number is 22%, in Alberta that number is 18% and in Ontario that number is 24%.”
Fontaine says its updated guide will be released in the spring of 2017.
A spokesperson from the B.C. Health Ministry also issued a statement:
I can tell you that the ministry takes the use of antipsychotic medications seriously and is committed to protecting the health, safety and dignity of seniors in our care. That is why we, along with health authorities and care facilities have taken steps to reduce the reliance on antipsychotic medications in residential care, and the report shows we have started to see a small decline in their use as a result.
We have been working on a number of fronts to address the issue over the past several years, including developing guidelines on appropriate use of antipsychotics, working with the Doctors of BC to support doctors with prescribing, and providing education for care providers to better manage challenging behaviours in dementia care to reduce reliance on antipsychotics.
Other initiatives also showing success include in the CLeAR program – which stands for Call for Less Antipsychotics in Residential care. Facilities participating in CLeAR saw the use of antipsychotics decline from 38% to 32% in the first year. Now in its second wave of implementation, CLeAR continues to support a reduction in the use of antipsychotics for new and continuing care teams.
The ministry purchased a three year licence for the P.I.E.C.E.S. education program in 2013 to help improve quality care for clients experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, and is working to renew the license for another three years to 2019.