1. by Elbert Chu by Elbert Chu. NEW YORK — For George LaRocca Jr., there was a striking difference between the man his father was before he was admitted to a nursing home and who he was afterward.

    Before the nursing home, his father, a good-natured fix-it man, was so nimble it could be difficult to keep an eye on him.

    "You'd blink and he'd be gone and walk a mile no problem,” LaRocca’s son said. “He'd just be be-bopping down the road with his cane, but he'd always head home."

    But after he was putting on antipsychotics at the nursing home, LaRocca Jr. said his father was transformed. He died nearly a year after being admitted to the nursing home.

    This is the story of what happened to LaRocca's dad.

    Read the full investigation at: http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/health/4143-investigation-how-nyc-nursing-homes-drug-seniors-into-submission

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  2. by Elbert Chu NEW YORK — The struggle to care for a loved one with Alzheimer's can lead family members to agree to heavy doses of antipsychotics.

    Take the case of Abigail Dennis and her mother, Anita Dennis, 87.

    The elder Dennis was given to arguing and screaming at her home health aide, so Abigail Dennis asked her doctor for help. He prescribed heavy doses of antipsychotics. Abigail Dennis said the doctor gave no warnings.

    “I had no idea about the risks, I just wanted her to be nice and not cause trouble for the aide," she said.

    Dennis admitted her mom to Cobble Hill Nursing Home in Brooklyn, a facility that’s reduced its percentage of patients on antipsychotic drugs to 13 percent. Cobble Hill’s caregivers were shocked at the high dosages of the drugs, said Liza Long, head nurse of the dementia unit. They weaned the elder Dennis off them entirely. The nurses added that the elder Dennis went from kicking, biting, and screaming when she came off the drugs — to laughing and hugging everyone after proper care.

    “I asked the staff what drugs they gave her and they said vitamins,” Dennis said.

    In this video, Abigail Dennis tells of her family's experience with antipsychotic medications.

    READ THE INVESTIGATION: HOW NYC NURSING HOMES DRUG SENIORS INTO SUBMISSION: http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/health/4143-investigation-how-nyc-nursing-homes-drug-seniors-into-submission

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  3. by Elbert Chu

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Chemical Restraint

Elbert Chu

Drugged for Convenience
How the medical complex in New York City fails nursing home residents.

A months long investigation of medical staff's illegal antipsychotic dosing of roughly 10,000 nursing home residents in New York City. A quarter of nursing…


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Drugged for Convenience
How the medical complex in New York City fails nursing home residents.

A months long investigation of medical staff's illegal antipsychotic dosing of roughly 10,000 nursing home residents in New York City. A quarter of nursing home residents on average are dosed with drugs against medical guidelines and federal regulations increasing their risks of falls, strokes, and death.

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