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Excess prescription of powerful tranquilizers in nursing homes and among seniors in general has been identified as a major problem within elder care facilities.

A 2014 study by JAMA Psychiatry revealed almost 12 percent of women who are 80 are prescribed benzodiazepines, a class of sedatives and anti-anxiety medications that are generally supposed to be avoided by elderly patients, as they have been linked to dangerous side effects – particularly for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In nursing homes, these kinds of tranquilizing drugs have been used improperly as a way to suppress patients who might otherwise be seen as “troublesome” to staffers. But not only are powerful drugs dangerous with little benefit for those who consume them, there are other ways to deal with those behaviors.

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