Drug Misuse at Nursing Homes is the Same as Abuse, says San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney

Did you know that some nursing homes homes and elder care providers are using psychotropic drugs to restrain unruly residents? According to a recent report, experts claim over-drugging is common nationwide, and the number of nursing home residents who are given these drugs is rising, and that one in every four patients is given anti-psychotic drugs. Some have suffered from a variety of adverse responses such as, tremors, dangerous lethargy, and a higher risk of harmful falls or even death. The food and drug administration has stated that the unnecessary use of these drugs kill 15,000 nursing home patients each year. In some situations, elderly people are actually held down and restrained against their will, and given excessive amounts of medicine to keep them quiet or from bothering staff.

Behavior problems, such as verbally or physically agitated behavior, are a challenge that many nursing homes do not know how to face. Sometimes antipsychotics are administered during a patient’s first week at a nursing home. Residents who are taken off psychotropic drugs must face withdrawal-and sometimes the discontinuation of medication can cause a worsening of behavior. It is illegal for nursing homes to prescribe these types of drugs without informed consent. A written statement of informed consent and valid psychiatric diagnosis must be obtained, and any resident whose level of cognitive function is sufficiently intact can be asked to provide consent for himself of herself. If a resident is unable to provide informed consent, a legally appointed guardian or family member responsible for their care should be contacted and asked to provide consent for them. If you or a loved one have been abused at a nursing home , please contact our firm for a free consultation. We have over 10 years fighting for the victims of elder and nursing home abuse.