In the U.S., antipsychotics are the primary strategy used to calm elderly nursing home residents with dementia who are acting out of frustration or fear. It's a situation HHS is dedicated to changing.

Making it through the day can be a struggle for these residents. Memory loss can lead to difficulty communicating or following directions. Stiff joints can inhibit the ability to do simple tasks. Failing eyesight can restrict mobility. Together, these conditions can cause disorientation and anxiety.

Across the state, nursing homes are reducing unnecessary antipsychotic usage through simple yet effective steps. By learning more about a resident's likes, dislikes, hobbies and who they were before they had dementia, nursing home staff can develop non-pharmaceutical alternatives to calm long-term care residents and improve their quality of life.