How Antipsychotic Medications are Used to Help People with Dementia: A Guide for Residents, Families, and Caregivers

February 2019

The Centre for Effective Practice and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement created this resource to inform appropriate use of antipsychotics and person centred approaches to care.

Antipsychotic medications are used to treat a variety of different mental health conditions. They may be used to treat people living with dementia when an individual has certain responsive behaviours and not responding to non-medication approaches to care.

In most cases, antipsychotic medications should not be the first choice for treatment of responsive behaviours but instead the care team should focus on creating a supportive environment, and investigating and satisfying the unmet needs of the person with dementia.

This guide is designed for family and care partners. As a member of the care team, you have an important role to play in helping the healthcare providers decide whether this treatment is appropriate care for your family member or friend. This guide will help you learn more about how antipsychotic medications are used to help people with dementia.

Download the Guide