Change in Nursing Home Compare Ratings


Mom is having difficulty and is progressing in her disease. The facility called and wants to change her medications. Mom is sensitive to medication changes, so I did some homework and came acrossthis article. "Starting immediately, the federal government is making it harder for nursing homes to get top grades on a public report card, in part by increasing scrutiny of their use of anti-psychotic drugs and raising the bar on an array of quality measure."

I believe is this will help with abuse of medications in some nursing homes. However, for those already on these medications, this can have an adverse affect.

I held off for as long as possible with mom taking these types of medications but there did come a time when the benefits outweighed the risks. Now they want to take mom off of them. As POA, they always inform me of a recommended change and we discuss the best course of action. I'm working with the doctor to come up with the best treatment to help mom as she is declining and progressing.

The new policy is good, IMHO, and should decrease the misuse of these medications in facilities. However patients' needs should come before ratings. Although nothing has changed, mom's facility has dropped a star this week due to this new system.

How do you all feel about this new rating system, and what impact do you think it will have?

Growing up in a close family, Michele DeSocio learned about the power of love at a very young age and still maintains that she is happiest when with her loved ones. In 1999, she became caregiver to her mom Jean DelCampo. Michele found her voice as an advocate volunteering for Memory People, an online support and awareness group for dementia.

Memory People

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I know there is a mandate for Gradual Dose Reduction (GDR) of antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications periodically. If the GDR is failed, the patient is returned to a higher dose. If the GDR is failed 3x, the patient does not need to go through this process again. It is rough going. In some cases, the GDR is successful but usually it is a time of agitation, risk of falls and emotional upheaval for the patients. I don't have any easy answers for you. I look forward to more comments from others too. Best of luck with your mom.
It's a tough call. The meds can be helpful. However, I do feel some doctors prescribe these type of meds too quickly for elders. I'm in the process of getting my mom off some and I can already see a difference. She isn't sleeping 20 hours a day anymore. She is very anxious (she was never like that before the dementia), so maybe the smaller dose is what she needs so she doesn't become frightened. Everyone is different. I'm so sad for the elders that don't have someone looking after their best interest.
I think its terrible! When my mother entered a nursing home in November, that same day, without the doctor even seeing her, or talking to me, they discontinued her Aricept and Namenda because they were "psych meds" and they "don't help." My mother declined drastically and immediately, while I fought like hell and the nursing home closed ranks and stonewalled me. I had not cried that much in years, as I listened to my mother lose her words and her mind. Staff members lied to me. Mind you, they all had to tell themselves what they were doing was ok. But Aricept and Namenda are not psych meds! Even if they were, there's a darn good reason why these medications exist, and sick people should not be denied them. Getting back to my story, I finally got back the Aricept only and my mom got much better. Staff members noticed the improvement, but will deny it to me. In summary, the damage that this did to me personally, and my relationship with the nursing home, is immeasurable. It happenef at the worst possible time, when I already felt terrible about my mother needing to go to a nursing home. All said, I'm sure there is a special place in hell for those who destroy peoples parents like this, and about that I could not be happier! I was told that everyone's Aricept and Namenda gets discontinued upon admission and no one is every evaluated for the effect of that move. Special place in hell indeed!!