Nearly two-thirds of aged care residents are prescribed psychotropic drugs regularly. Questions that must be urgently asked

  • This is part of a series about aged care in Australia

Mary’s 85-year-old husband had been in an aged care home for just over a week. He had been getting frailer but was still sharp mentally. However, Mary* became extremely worried when her husband started sleeping all day.

After much ado, Mary obtained access to the medication chart for her husband. The aged care home’s GP had prescribed risperidone (an anti-psychotic medication), oxazepan (a benzodiazepine that is highly addictive and causes sedation), mirtazapine (an anti-depressant) and a norspan patch (an opiate for pain relief). Mary’s husband had never taken any of these drugs before being admitted to an aged care home.

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