It's estimated one out of every three elderly nursing home residents diagnosed with dementia is prescribed antipsychotic medication. That's according to studies by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Government Accountability Office. The drugs continue to be given to older adults in the facilities despite FDA warnings over the past decade that certain types of the drugs can be deadly.
Marisa Conover, of Fair Oaks, said her mother Genine Zizzo was given antipsychotic medication at a nursing home in 2012, even though she was promised the drug would not be used to treat Zizzo.
As documented in a coroner's investigative report, Conover also said she thinks the drugs contributed to her mom's death just 12 days after she was admitted to Roseville Point Health and Wellness Center.
That investigative report, as well as medical records from Kaiser, said Zizzo went into Roseville Point needing physical therapy after she fell at her home. The report goes on to say Zizzio left less than two weeks later after slipping into a "vegetative state" and then a "coma." Zizzo's death certificate reports she had "multiple organ failures."
Fighting for Change
A Sacramento County elders rights watchdog group, largely funded by private donations, said its seen cases like this before. Carole Herman's Foundation Aiding the Elderly represents nursing home abuse and neglect victims.
"Our tax dollars are what's paying for this shoddy care," Herman said. "And for making all of these nursing home operators very wealthy."
The antipsychotic drugs are classified as heavy tranquilizers and have been linked to heart failure, according to the FDA. The agency placed a warning label on the drug Haldol. That's the same medication that Roseville Point injected into Zizzo. (Continue Reading)
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Chemical Restraints: Anti-psychotic meds given to elderly despite warnings