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Nursing Home Care: Investigations on Misuse of Antipsychotics

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Nursing homes are places where elderly and disabled individuals can receive proper care and attention. Unfortunately, numerous reports of nursing home abuse in recent years have revealed the misuse of antipsychotic medications. In this article, we will explore the process of investigating the abuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes.

What Are Antipsychotics?

Antipsychotics are a class of medications commonly used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. They work by altering the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain to help regulate mood and behavior.

While antipsychotics can effectively treat these conditions, they are also associated with negative side effects, including weight gain, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of stroke and death. As such, they should only be used when necessary and under close medical supervision.

Antipsychotics and Nursing Home Abuse

Unfortunately, antipsychotics have a history of misuse in nursing homes, particularly in treating elderly patients with dementia. In many cases, these medications are used as chemical restraints to control patients’ behavior and make it easier for staff to manage them. This practice is not only unethical, but it is also illegal. The use of antipsychotics as a chemical restraint is a violation of federal nursing home regulations and can result in fines and legal action.

Investigations into Nursing Home Abuse of Antipsychotics

In recent years, numerous investigations have been launched into nursing home abuse of antipsychotics. These investigations have revealed widespread misuse of these medications, often without proper consent or medical justification.

For example, in 2017, the Department of Justice announced that it had charged over 400 individuals in a nationwide crackdown on healthcare fraud, including the overuse of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. The charges included conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering, and violations of federal anti-kickback laws.

The investigation found that many nursing homes use antipsychotics as chemical restraints without proper medical justification or patient or family consent. In some cases, nursing homes even falsified medical records to justify using these medications.

In response to these investigations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. This partnership aims to reduce the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes by promoting person-centered care and non-pharmacological interventions for patients with dementia.

The partnership has successfully reduced the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes nationwide. As of 2019, the national prevalence of antipsychotic use in nursing homes had decreased by over 33% since 2011.

The Need for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a grave issue that occurs too often. Understanding the need for a nursing home abuse lawyer to combat this issue is essential.

A nursing home abuse lawyer is an attorney specially trained in the laws surrounding nursing home abuse and neglect. The lawyer will be able to file legal claims on behalf of the victim and help them get the justice that they deserve.

Nursing home abuse lawyers can evaluate the situation and compile proof to support the claim. In addition to speaking with any witnesses who may have seen or heard the abuse, they will be able to examine medical records and other available documents.

It is essential to understand the need for a nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure that victims of abuse get the justice they deserve. A nursing home abuse attorney will be able to ensure that the abuser is held accountable for their acts and that the victim receives restitution.


The overuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes is a significant issue that has led to several investigations. It is unethical and unlawful to use these drugs as chemical restraints which may result in penalties and legal action.

Fortunately, efforts are underway to reduce the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes and promote person-centered care for patients with dementia. These efforts have successfully reduced the prevalence of antipsychotic use in nursing homes nationwide. They are a step in the right direction toward improving the quality of care for elderly and disabled individuals.

If you are concerned about the care your loved one receives in a nursing home, don’t wait to take action. Contact Jehl Law Group today to schedule a no-cost appointment and discuss your concerns with our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers. We are here to ensure your loved one receives the care and respect they deserve!