B-C Seniors Advocate raises alarm over antidepressant use in care homes

The B-C Seniors Advocate is raising concerns about unnecessary drugs being administered to seniors at residential care facilities.
   
Isobel Mackenzie says frontline therapies, including exercise and social activities, need to be implemented before medication is prescribed.
   
"What our data shows is 50 percent of our residents in facilities are on a antidepressant, but only 25 percent are actually diagnosed with depresssion." MacKenzie says. "29 percent of people admitted to a care home, who had no use of an antidepressant prior to going into care, were put on an antidepressant."

MacKenzie says many side effects from antidepressants -- such as lethargy and confusion -- mimic the symptoms of dementia. 

MacKenzie says ageism also needs to be curbed; we need to start speaking with seniors instead of having conversations around them.

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