Advocacy Centre for the Elderly marks 30 years with special lectures

June 10, 2015 - Toronto - Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) marked its 30th anniversary with a series of special lectures on the topic of the administration of anti-psychotic medications to residents of long-term care homes. After a welcome from Board Chair Dr. Rosemary Meier, current and founding executive director of the specialty legal aid clinic, Judith Wahl provided a thumbnail history of the clinic. Dr. Meier and Ms. Wahl then accepted a plaque from Legal Aid Ontario recognizing the clinic's milestone of three decades of internationally-recognized public service.

The special lectures were delivered by medical scientist and University of Toronto professor Dr. Paula Rochon, geriatric psychiatrist Mark Lachmann and Mercedes Perez of Swadron Associates. The presenters addressed issues surrounding the overprescription of antipsychotic medications to seniors. Dr. Rochon explained the cascade of medical treatments that can be initiated following the mis-diagnosis of side effects caused by anti-psychotic medications as new conditions. Ms. Perez addressed the persistent problem of lack of informed consent from a legal perspective.

Dr. Rochon and Ms. Perez cited the findings of recent reports that show that the rate of use of anti-psychotic medications varies between different long-term care homes in Ontario from zero percent to as high as 67 percent of residents. Dr. Rochon and Dr. Lachmann highlighted successful strategies to reduce the prevalence of use.

Mercedes Perez at ACE special lectures

  • Mercedes Perez speaking at ACE special lectures