human rights watch nails crux of antipsychotic problem in nursing homes


This six-minute video is the précis version of Human Rights Watch’s 165-page report published on February 5, 2018. It confirms what many dementia care advocates and activists, and even the US government itself has known for years: there’s a drug abuse problem in the country’s long-term care industry, and elderly people who live with dementia bear the brunt of it.

And the problem isn’t confined to the United States; it’s across Canada as well. I know from personal experience. 

I wonder if, like me, this video makes you ask yourself what’s wrong with this picture?

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  1. I have read about the changes Health Minister Barrette is proposing to reduce the use of anti psychotic drugs in Quebec nursing homes, but fail to understand why these changes will take years to implement effectively. What has been done since Barrette’s announcement last November? How long does it take to say “no more abuse” and prohibit the use of antipsychotic orders for routine care and management of dementia? Consider the unnecessary suffering residents and loved ones will endure until the bureaucrats get their acts together. The auto industry recalls a vehicle the moment a problem is detected. Defective children toys with are withdrawn from the market immediately. Grocers act quickly if contaminated food threatens our well being. The lack of urgency to immediately reduce the use of chemical restraints, not even approved by Health Canada for treatment of dementia despite the known side effects, including premature death speaks volumes. The secondary effects of a drugged stupor include falls, bedsores and urinary tract infections which alone cost the health care system millions of dollars every year. What is wrong with this picture?

  2. Lorrie Beauchamp on

    This is the best video yet for stating it clearly and concisely. Powerful message; now how do we get these rules enforced? And it might just be because I’m reading a lot about this lately, but it does feel that “the cat is out of the bag”, so to speak, and that people are starting to wake up to this form of senior abuse. Let’s hope so!

    • Susan Macaulay on

      Lorrie, I agree with you. The video is clear and concise. As to enforcement, that’s a whole other story. There is been other waves of awareness in the past, I’ve seen them in my research. Clearly, thus far, none have created a sea change. Maybe this time… One can only hope. No, that’s not true. One calmly work one’s ass off to make sure it happens LOL!

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