Psychosis and Quality of Life

The nursing home industry needs to train caregivers on how to treat dementia patients with psychotic symptoms. Psychosis can arise from the medications nursing homes administer to residents with dementia. Antipsychotics are dangerous. Safe staffing and better training is the answer, not more medications.

Psychotic symptoms in nursing home residents with dementia lead to poorer quality of life. See study findings published in JAMDA. Choi A, Martyr A, Clare L, et al. Impact of psychotic symptoms and concurrent neuropsychiatric symptoms on the quality of life of people with dementia living in nursing homes. 17.5% of patients experienced delusions. 14.6% had hallucinations.

Nursing homes administer atypical antipsychotics in 1 in 5 participants. Delusions and hallucinations were each associated with lower proxy-rated quality of life scores. Depression was most likely to predict lower quality of life.

Do nursing homes diagnose victims of abuse and neglect as psychotic? The numbers don’t lie. Patients with dementia who live in nursing homes often have more severe cognitive and functional challenges and higher rates of psychosis compared with individuals with dementia who live in the community. The findings reveal the need for clinicians to implement safe and effective treatment and management strategies for nursing home residents with dementia presenting psychotic symptoms. Chemical restrains hurt residents’ safety, health, and well-being.