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What are signs that a nursing home is overmedicating someone?

Long before regulations were imposed to protect nursing home residents from being taken advantage of or mistreated by facility staff, it was common for employees to rely on medications as a way of managing them.

Many who engaged in this practice were instructed to do so by nursing home administrators as a way to reduce the need for staffing and thus keep costs low. It was believed that if residents were asleep both day and night, then they wouldn't place as many demands on the few employees scheduled to work.

Fast forward to today and while you'll find many cases where nursing homes only administer prescription drugs in alignment with how it's prescribed by a doctor, there are just as many who still overmedicate. Research would appear to suggest that patients living in memory care wings or facilities are most apt to face overmedication.

Medicating nursing home residents can easily become a slippery slope. A patient may initially be prescribed a psychotropic drug in hopes that it will aid him or her in living a more fulfilling life or making him or her feel better. If dosage instructions are not followed, they're given the drug in excess or the patient is not closely monitored while on it, then there's a strong chance that he or she may experience potentially fatal side effects.

Nursing homes often fail their residents when they don't take time to remind themselves of when to administer prescribed medications. They also fail them when they don't take time out of their schedules to closely monitor patients for allergic reactions and other adverse events that may occur.

If your loved one's health declined because of some kind of medication error, then a Tucson nursing home abuse and neglect attorney may advise you of your right to file a medical negligence claim.

Source: Aging Care, "Is the nursing home over-medicating your elderly parent?," Carol Bradley Bursak, accessed Nov. 30, 2017

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