Apr 16, 2014
By Jane Brown
Ontario’s health minister is blaming doctors for drugging of seniors in long term care homes. Deb Matthews said, “let’s remember, it’s doctors who prescribe these drugs, not the government.” Her comments come in the wake of a published report that many Ontario nursing homes are drugging seniors with powerful anti-psychotic drugs, despite warnings that the medications can lead to death for elderly patients living with dementia.
Meantime, Etobicoke Centre Liberal MPP Donna Cansfield says as far as she can gather, “if you are over 85 and in a long term care home, you are on an anti-psychotic drug.” Cansfield says her information comes from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. But she told the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, the answer could be found in music, rather than drugs. “All you have to do is look at the music program to realize there is a really good example of how music can improve the quality of life with someone with Alzheimer’s and at the same time, lower their agitative state.”
Listen to the entire interview with Donna Cansfield by clicking here
Last year, the provincial government invested $43 million in a program called Behavioural Supports Ontario. Health Minister Matthews says caregivers are doing “fantastic work” controlling the behaviour of people with dementia in nursing homes without drugs.