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Overmedication: Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When most people think of nursing home abuse or neglect, they usually picture an elderly resident who has cuts or bruises on them or an elderly resident who has not been cleaned or assisted with proper hygiene. But there are a number of other types of nursing home abuses that also happen every day. One of the most common is overmedication. Not overmedication as in a medical error where a nursing home staff member accidentally give a resident too much medication, but overmedication is an intentional act used to keep a resident all drugged up and quiet so staff will not have to deal with them.

The type of nursing home residents who are typically intentionally overmedicated is those that may struggle with cognitive issues that affect their memory, such as from the aftermath of a stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other issues. These conditions can cause the resident to behave in ways that make interacting with them difficult.

However, this is exactly why families spend hundreds of thousands every year – to make sure their loved one is in an environment with professionals that are supposed to be trained to handle residents with these types of issues.

Instead, nursing home staff ply these residents with medications that cause drowsiness, and sleepiness, sometimes to the point of almost being catatonic. This means the staff have a much easier time dealing with the resident – or not dealing with them.

But overmedicating residents is nothing short of nursing home abuse. It also leaves the resident unable to communicate with their family. It also leaves them vulnerable to other types of abuse – verbal, physical, and sexual – by both staff and other residents.

Warning Signs of Overmedication

The following signs are indicators that your loved one may be a victim of overmedication by nursing home staff:

  • Changes in your loved one’s daily routine, eating habits, mood, and sleeping habits.
  • Your loved one spends most of their days sleeping. If they are awake, they act like they are unaware of what is going on around them.
  • Instead of being alert and awake, your loved one eyes appear to always be glazed over.
  • Nursing home staff fail to provide straight answers family members have about your loved one’s medications.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm for Legal Assistance

If you suspect your loved one is being overmedicated by nursing home staff, it is important to take the steps to stop the abuse and protect your loved one. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to find out what legal steps you need to take to ensure the overmedication stops and what federal, state, and municipal authorities should be notified.

A lawyer can also help you file a lawsuit against the facility in order to hold them accountable and get the financial justice your loved one deserves.