Aim is fewer drugs given to dementia patients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee health officials are training nursing home care providers how to treat dementia patients without drugs -- especially those with Alzheimer's disease.

The Tennessean reported statistics collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show about 30 percent of long-term nursing home residents in Tennessee are treated with antipsychotics drugs. The national average is 23.8 percent and federal officials want that cut by 15 percent by year's end.

Tennessee health officials have a $370,000 federal grant for a series of sessions to train nursing home workers.

State health care facilities director Vincent Davis said the goal is to reduce the use of drugs and improve patients' overall well-being.

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