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More Trouble in Illinois Nursing Homes

Posted on 10/27/2009 by |Archived Contributor | Comments

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There’s a very disturbing story in the Chicago Tribune today about patients in nursing homes across Illinois who have received, wrongly, “powerful psychotropic drugs” without any condition that would give cause for a need for such drugs.
Since 2001, the Tribune has found 1,200 violations (affecting 2,900 patients) at nursing homes across the state, and this isn’t the first offense of Illinois nursing homes that’s getting news coverage. Recently, the Tribune also reported that mentally ill felons were living alongside the elderly and disabled.
The other side of the story is that health care workers are saying that administering these psychotropic drugs for things such as “restlessness” or “confusion” makes patients “easier to care for” and even makes life happier for those patients with dementia. However, according to the Tribune article, the drugs we’re talking about here can have dangerous side effects – including extreme lethargy, seizures and even sudden death. Disturbing stuff for those who put their loved ones in the care of nursing homes.
Some AARP News of Note…USA Today has a piece today on AARP’s newly launched Web site, LifeTuner.org. The site was created to offer financial advice to people in their 20s and 30s – a much younger audience than the typical AARP crowd. Check out the article – and the site!