Overmedicating nursing home residents puts them in grave danger. It can lead to accidents and injuries, as well as death from health events caused by the medication. Overmedicating in nursing homes is sometimes the result of unintentional medication error but is often intentional abuse of chemical restraints. Both are unacceptable and very dangerous. If you believe that your loved one is being or has been overmedicated in a nursing home, please talk to an experienced Arkansas medical malpractice attorney right away.
Abuse of Chemical Restraints
Despite the fact that the use of antipsychotic drugs in elderly patients with dementia is know to increase the risk of death, nursing homes commonly use the drugs to keep dementia patients sedated and easier to manage. Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 179,000 people are given antipsychotic drugs, without an appropriate diagnosis, in U.S. nursing homes each week.
Antipsychotic drugs are not approved for treatment of dementia. They are typically given to nursing home residents without the informed consent of the residents or their loved ones. It is an abusive practice, and it is illegal, but that does not make it rare.
Signs That Your Loved One is Being Overmedicated
Be on the lookout for the signs of overmedication which include:
- Sleeping more
- Constant fatigue
- Erratic personality changes
- Increase in falls, injuries or bruises
Talk to nursing home staff and find out exactly which medications your loved one is taking, how much, and why. Never be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If your loved one is taking an antipsychotic drug, ask their doctor or other healthcare professional what it is being used to treat.
If you suspect that your loved one is being overmedicated in a nursing home, or if your loved one has suffered injuries or death in a nursing home and you believe that overmedication may have been involved, talk to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney right away. In Arkansas, call Milligan Law Offices at 479-783-2213 today or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free, and we only get paid if we win compensation for you.