June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (
#endelderabuse #WEAAD). I will be featuring posts related to elder abuse throughout June to highlight some of the issues. The use of physical and chemical restraints is among several forms of elder abuse.
The inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs had a devastating impact on my mom and me. She was chemically restrained with quetiapine (Seroquel), and risperidone (Risperdal) every day for the last four years of her life.
Chemical restraints are a form of abuse. The reasons Mom was sedated could have been addressed and resolved with positive, non-pharmacological approaches to care.
As “punishment” for advocating against the use of these drugs, and for blogging about what was happening to Mom, from spring 2015 onward my daily visits were restricted to between one and three in the afternoon when Mom was most likely to be experiencing the sedative effects of the drugs. Should I not abide by the rules, I was told that I risked not being able to see her at all.
At one point in August 2015, because of my limited visiting “privileges,” I hadn’t seen Mom conscious in about a week and a half. After a particularly sad visit, I decided to defy the cruel, unjustified and abusive rules. The three-minute video below documents the dramatic results, and shows why I became such a vocal advocate against the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medication in “treating” people who live with dementia.