The most-read post in this blog is one from May 2018, called “NEVER go into a nursing home to recover. You may never escape!” It gave the real story of what happened to my father who was drugged with anti-psychotics against both his will and his wife’s — just to make him docile.
Many people wrote with similar stories. But I also got denials that such a thing could ever happen. Despite the specific details given in the article.
Now the New York Times has done an excellent expose that verifies exactly what we found. It’s titled, “Phony Diagnoses Hide High Rates of Drugging at Nursing Homes.” Medicare requires nursing homes report how many of their residents are on anti-psychotic drugs — drugs which are called “chemical strait jackets” because they make people close to comatose — and thus those people require next to no attention from the nursing home staff. The problem is these drugs destroy quality of life for residents and nearly double their chance of death from heart problems, infections, falls and more.
Nursing homes don’t want to reveal how many of their residents they are drugging. That’s because, as the NY Times states, “…money is on the line. High rates of antipsychotic drug use can hurt a home’s public image and the star rating it gets from the government. Medicare designed the ratings system to help patients and their families evaluate facilities using objective data; a low rating can have major financial consequences.”
How do they get around the reporting requirement? Well… the government excludes from their reporting residents with schizophrenia. Any residents with that diagnosis can be drugged freely with anti-psychotics and the government removes those patients from the reporting they do on nursing home drugging.
It will come as no surprise to discover that the number of schizophrenia diagnoses at nursing homes has dramatically increased. In fact, the NY Times found it has increased 70% just since 2012!
The clearest indication of nursing home criminal deception and the government’s complicity in it was uncovered in a report by a federal oversight agency. It said “nearly one-third of long-term nursing home residents with schizophrenia diagnoses in 2018 had no Medicare record of being treated for the condition.”
The NY Times calculated that at least 21% of nursing home residents are currently being drugged by anti-psychotics, once you add back in those who are being excluded from the counts.
The article quoted nursing homes as explaining these druggings as needed in their efforts to deal with patients who were “whining” or “asking for help.”
Medicare was supposed to investigate the issue of false schizophrenia diagnoses in 2019 and 2020, but it didn’t happen due to COVID.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, check to see their diagnosis. You may need to get a patient advocate to demand their records. If they suddenly received a schizophrenia diagnosis, although never having it before, you can know it is a lie. Real schizophrenia is diagnosed 99.9% of the time before the age of 40. You don’t suddenly get it in your later years.
I recommend you read the full NY Times article. Local doctors on the payroll of the nursing homes write these prescriptions whenever their client (the nursing home) says they need it.
Let’s scream at AARP to do something. Maybe talk to our local newspapers to do an investigation. To protect us all.