Family supports plan for less anti-psychotics in N.B. nursing homes
One family is pleased with a plan to reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs in New Brunswick nursing homes.
Eugene McGinley says that he’s noticed a difference in his 92-year-old sister, Anna Hanley, since she began phasing anti-psychotics out of her medical routine. He says she’s become more responsive and more mobile.
"I often find that she's around in her chair and moving about more than she used to," he says.
Hanley currently resides at the York Care Centre in New Brunswick. Over the last year, the nursing home has been reducing the amount of drugs dementia patients take in, in hopes that it will help improve the residents’ quality of life.
Registered nurse Julie Coghran is one of the driving forces behind this new program. Over the past year, she has helped reduce the drug dosages for 11 patients. She says eight have responded.
"One resident was really lethargic during the day,” she says. “She was very tired, very sleepy; she wasn't very involved in her daily activities of living. When we started reducing her medication, for her we actually went very quickly, and we noticed that she was up walking again, she was talking a lot more."
The program has a number of benefits that have attracted the eye of the federal government. Not only does the program seem to be working on residents, but it also cuts down on drug costs and reduces the chances of patient falls and strokes.
The federal government has promised the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes $500,000 to expand the program to every nursing home across the province, providing the New Brunswick government is on board.
The association says they need the province’s response by the end of this month in order to receive that money from the federal government.
The government of New Brunswick says they’re discussing the initiative and understand the funding timeline.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Brown.