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medication demonstrated any clinical
benefits from taking it.
The report also found that these
medications can have a range of
serious side effects, including
increased risk of stroke, increased risk
of mortality, a greater chance of falls,
and increased confusion.
Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT)
Chief Executive Paul McMahon said
the organisation had identified the need
for better management of behaviours
of people with dementia without the
reliance on antipsychotic medication.
“ We also realised the need to educate
our staff and health professionals, such as
GPs, on eliminating high dependency on
medication and improving outcomes for
our residents with dementia,” Paul said.
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO The
Hon. John Watkins said the short film
was a positive step towards supporting
GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare
professionals working with people with
dementia, both in care homes and in
the community, with how best to deal
with the behavioural and psychological
symptoms of dementia.
“T his really emphasises the
importance of a partnership between the
family of the person living with dementia,
their treating doctor, their pharmacist and
their care staff,” John said.
“It provides the evidence-base
for the review and deprescribing of
antipsychotic medications. The first line
approach should always be to look and
see if there are non- pharmacological
approaches that may work better.”
Margaret Wood, daughter of a resident
at Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT),
spoke of her experience visiting her
mother who has dementia.
“Mum was put on a drug which made
her very sleepy and her speech garbled,”
“She was also depressed and talked
about wanting to die. When mum was
taken off the medication she started to
improve. Her speech got better, and she
was eating more. She recognises us
most of the time and she is bright and
cheerful. It is so nice to visit her now.”
Dementia and Our Mob is just
one of AlzNSW’s community
dementia awareness projects.
AlzNSW had the privilege
of successfully piloting the
program with 35 Indigenous
people from the Gloucester
and Armidale regions.
This program contains
culturally appropriate and
concise ‘what you need to
know’ information about
dementia, providing a short
45 -minute interactive starting
point for communities.
This program has been
developed through extensive
consultation with both
regional and urban Indigenous
communities in NSW to
identify information gaps
and learning needs.
Key findings show that while
Indigenous communities are
aware that dementia exists,
they don’t understand what it
is. Many people are not aware
of their local dementia referral
and support pathways, and
are not engaging with service
providers due to a combination
of factors, including a fear
of being removed from their
homes and lacking support
Recent research has identified that antipsychotic medication is used too frequently, and
for extensive periods of time, to manage behavioural and psychological symptoms of
Dr Henry Brodaty, Director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre,
presents the evidence base to support the use of non-pharmacological
interventions, person-centred activity and pain therapy as a first line
approach in BPSD management. Dr Brodaty identifies situations when
antipsychotic medications are appropriate, and a number of behaviours
where antipsychotics would have no effect.
The numerous short-term and long-term side effects, assessment and conditions to
monitor for in the patient are clearly explained, including appropriate review and
Dr Julian Pierre, a GP who visits a number of aged care homes, discusses the effect
antipsychotic medication has on his patients, with a 12-week review, and a plan to
deprescribe the medication when the BPSD is managed.
Tim Perry, a consultant pharmacist, discusses how a revised medication management
review (RMMRs), for people that reside in care homes, can be used to support a
deprescribing plan. Tim also explains the benefits of Home Medicine Reviews (HMRs)
for people who live at home.
The video highlights the benefits of a collaborative approach towards the deprescribing
of antipsychotics that involves the patient, family, care staff, doctor and pharmacist.
Acknowledgements: Alzheimer’s Australia NSW would like to thank everyone involved
with the development of this film. This project was supported by financial assistance
from Southern Cross Care NSW/ACT, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and AMA NSW.
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the
land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to country. We pay respect to
Elders both past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people who have made a contribution to our organisation.
The National Dementia Helpline T: 1800 100 500, is an Australian Government Initiative.
© Copyright - Alzheimer’s Australia NSW 2014
Content may be copied in full with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when
used only for non-commercial or not-for-profit purposes. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Alzheimer’s
Australia NSW is required. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Alzheimer’s
Australia NSW, PO Box 6042, North Ryde, NSW 2113 or you can email us on: E: NSW.Admin@alzheimers.org.au
A free resource for healthcare professionals working with
people living with a diagnosis of dementia.
You can watch the video
waTch The video
the short film
Dr Julian Pierre
(GP) and tim
discuss the challenge
for people with
dementia and look at
Participants of the Dementia and
our Mob pilot program found
out essential information about
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