Health Quality Ontario has launched a new report, titled Looking for Balance. The report highlights that a major difference across Ontario’s long-term care homes is the percentage of residents who are being prescribed antipsychotic medications. In some long-term care homes, it was found that no residents over age 65 are being prescribed antipsychotic medications, while in others, up to two-thirds of the residents are being prescribed the drugs. The report mentions that some of the variation across the province may be due to the fact that some homes specialize in treating people with severe mental illnesses or advanced dementia; however, it is unlikely that this factor alone explains the range of these differences.
Although there is variation from one home to the next, the report found that overall use of antipsychotic medications in long-term care homes has slightly decreased from four years ago. For example, the percentage of residents being prescribed antipsychotic medications in Ontario decreased from 32 percent in 2010 to 29 percent in 2013.
Looking for Balance includes real stories from some long-term care home residents and their families who have been helped by antipsychotic medications, as well as others who saw improvements after tapering off the drugs. The report also explores how care teams are working with residents and their families to balance antipsychotic medication use by tracking medication data, creating innovative programs, assessing individual residents and engaging families.
For more information and to read the full report, visit the Health Quality of Ontario website.