BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

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Call for Less Antipsychotics in Residential Care (CLeAR)

We want to provide the best care possible for our residents, which at times can be difficult because today’s seniors – our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers – are living longer than any previous generation. Living longer increases their likelihood of experiencing declines in health1 that may include developing a dementia with associated behavioural and psychological symptoms.

Sometimes these symptoms result in residents receiving potentially inappropriate medications, such as antipsychotics2 that can cause side effects like increased drowsiness, impaired mobility and even unexpected death3.

Research shows that 33% of residents in British Columbian residential care homes may have their quality of life affected because they are taking potentially inappropriate antipsychotic medications4.

Recent inspiring work right here in BC has shown that we can reduce this number.

“Every behaviour has a reason and if the resident is unable to communicate what it is that is bothering them, it is our job to figure it out. We’ve become detectives in a way.”

– Rosewood Manor (member of CLeAR’s first wave)

  1. Decady, Y. and Greenberg, L. (2014). “Ninety years of change in life expectancy” Health at a Glance. July. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-624-X. Retrieved 2015,
    from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2014001/article/14009-eng.htm
  2. Rancourt, C. et al. (2004). Potentially inappropriate prescriptions for older patients in long-term care. BMC Geriatrics, 4 (9).
  3. Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2014). Your Health System. Retrieved 2015, from
    http://yourhealthsystem.cihi.ca/hsp/indepth?lang=en#/indicator/008/2/C9001/
  4. Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2014). Your Health System. Retrieved 2015, from
    http://yourhealthsystem.cihi.ca/hsp/indepth?lang=en#/indicator/008/2/C9001/

At a Glance

Download a PDF of our Call to Action that you can share with colleagues, residents and family members.

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Key Contacts

Chris Rauscher
Clinical Lead
BCPSQC
crauscher@bcpsqc.ca

Tara Fitzgerald
Quality Lead
BCPSQC
tfitzgerald@bcpsqc.ca

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