A Canadian pilot project is aiming to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in long-term care homes across the country.
Statistics show that one in three long-term care residents in Canada is on antipsychotic medication without a diagnosis of psychosis from a doctor.
That was one of the topics discussed at a recent conference in Banff, AB, led by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.
Mimie Carroll, director of long-term care and community supports for Central Health, attended the conference.
Carroll said statistics show antipsychotic drugs are used in long-term care homes more in this province than any other area of the country.
Myriad of issues when used long-term
She told CBC that antipsychotics are often used as sleep aids and to treat symptoms of dementia — but feels there are other options.
"There's a time and place for antipsychotics, but being used as the last resort as opposed to the first resort," Carroll said.
"So, I think there's a lot more education that we can certainly offer and provide to our frontline staff that is certainly working in that environment on a daily basis."
Carroll said the drugs can cause falls, dizziness, strokes and heart attacks when used long-term.
Fifteen teams from organizations in seven provinces, including Newfoundland and Labrador and one territory, are participating in the project.
Participating organizations are located in urban, rural and northern settings.