Federal law prohibits nursing homes from medicating residents simply to render them easier to manage. This is referred to as a chemical restraint.
All too often, a nursing home staff will administer powerful sedatives or mood-altering drugs to their residents simply because they are understaffed and can’t offer them the attention they promised. This practice is against the law and is very dangerous.
The initial indications of overmedication can be understated and include lethargy, loss of appetite, dehydration, and the resident being disoriented or confused.
The overmedication of elders has been referred to as a public health crisis by experts in the field. Falls, bedsores, adverse reactions to the medications, and death are only a few of the many possible catastrophic results of the overmedication of nursing home residents.
What You Can Do If Your Loved One Is Being Overmedicated
Time and again, families complain to nursing homes about the medication roller-coaster their loved one is experiencing. This is especially so whenever a resident is being sent back and forth from the nursing home to the hospital.
If you suspect that your loved one is being overmedicated, there are several things that you have can do, for example:
Check Their Medication: Ask the supervising nurse at the nursing home what medications your loved one is being administered and compare that to the medications that they were being administered prior to being placed in the nursing home. You may also want to visit the doctor who cared for your loved one prior to going to the nursing home. Show them the list of medications your loved one is being administered and ask if it’s appropriate.
Meet With the Staff: Request a care meeting with the staff of the nursing home (including the director of nursing and the doctor responsible for prescribing medication for the residents) to specifically address what medications your loved one should or should not be given. As a nursing home resident’s responsible party, you have every right to meet with the nursing home staff to discuss your loved one’s care. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are concerned or have any questions. If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive, you should seriously consider changing your loved one’s doctor or removing them from the nursing home facility.
Contact an Attorney: Get legal help to hold the nursing home and its staff responsible for overmedicating your loved one. If your loved one has been the victim of overmedication by the staff at a nursing home or long-term care facility, they may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or damages they suffer. This includes compensation for additional medical expenses they incur and for the pain and suffering they have had to endure.
Consult With an Experienced Nursing Home Lawyer
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered due to overmedication by the staff of the nursing home in which they were placed, you should consult with an experienced nursing home lawyer.
For assistance with locating a qualified nursing home lawyer who can help you seek compensation on behalf of your loved one, contact The Hayes Firm: Attorney Finding Service at 1-800-603-6833, or send us a message via our contact form to arrange free consultation.