Dementia and antipsychotic medications

Wanda Morris, the VP of Advocacy at CARP (a national advocacy group for Canadian seniors) recently wrote a guest column in the Toronto Sun about dementia and antipsychotic medications. In her column, Morris puts a spotlight on long-term care homes that are using antipsychotics for many patients living with dementia. The column presents statistics compiled by Health Quality Ontario showing that in 2015, an average of 27% of residents in long-term care homes were given antipsychotics even though they did not suffer from a psychosis. These types of drugs can have serious side effects, and research suggests that non-drug approaches should be considered first. Our Blog Post about ‘Three non-drug approaches for managing dementia behaviours’ was one of our most popular blogs of the year in 2016 and the most shared post on our Facebook page. Our research team understands that there’s strong interest in better understanding how to effectively support our loved ones living with dementia. Read our evidence-based resources on this topic below.

Featured Resources

  1. Blog Post: 3 simple ways to manage challenging behaviours associated with dementia
  2. Blog Post: Dementia care
  3. Blog Post: The benefits of exercise for older adults with dementia
  4. Blog Post: Person centred care for patients with dementia may also benefit caregivers
  5. Web Resource Rating: Many older people with dementia could come off antipsychotic drugs finds new review
  6. Web Resource Rating: Dementia
  7. Web Resource Rating: Reminiscence therapy for dementia
  8. Evidence Summary: Non pharmacological care-delivery interventions may reduce agitation and aggression in nursing home residents with dementia
  9. Evidence Summary: Support groups may improve depression, quality of life and self-esteem for people with dementia



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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.