Many South Florida families opt for placing their aging loved one in a nursing home, only because they believe that it will provide the quality of care that they themselves cannot. This explains precisely why families are appalled and outraged when they discover that their loved one has been become the victim of nursing home abuse.
One of the most frequent errors made by nursing homes relates to giving medications to their aging residents. Since we are living longer than ever before, we are also requiring more medications needed to treat common ailments such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. In fact, it is estimated that over 95% of individuals on Medicare are prescribed medications. Most senior citizens are administered between 10-20 pills per day. That leaves plenty of room for error.
Nursing homes commit abuse and neglect when they make the following errors while administering medication:
- Wrong Medication – Can you imagine taking your mother or father to the doctor to treat them for a serious condition and later find out that the nursing home did not properly administer the prescription? Last year, reports of over 88,000 cases of nursing homes gave the wrong medication. Albeit unintentional, a nursing home may not give all of the recommended doses, causing the patient to become ill. The mistake can cause serious side effects and has even proven to be fatal. In many instances, a patient is given a medication that was intended for a different resident, thus causing serious and lethal side effects. If a nursing home is understaffed or unqualified, the caregiver may be sleepy, rushed, or confused. Your loved one’s life could be at risk.
- Overmedication – Several factors lead nursing homes down the dangerous road to overmedicating their patients. Since we already know that the majority of nursing home facilities are not properly staffed, we can recognize that they are easily at their wits end when it comes to containing a difficult patient. Over half of elderly patients take some type of prescribed psychotic medication, typically for depression or anxiety. Another influx of difficult patients includes Alzheimer’s. A recent study revealed that over 50% of people over 85 have Alzheimer’s. In an attempt to control and contain a difficult patient, such as one with Alzheimer’s, nursing homes have been found responsible for overmedicating with powerful anti-psychotic drugs. This crime is such a travesty, that the Food and Drug Administration reported that over 15,000 patients die from nursing homes over-medicating every year.
Take a stand against your loved one becoming the next victim of nursing home abuse. You can’t rely on an elderly patient being aware of medication errors made by their nursing home caregivers. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from being given the wrong medications within the care of a nursing home, immediate legal assistance is necessary! Florida nursing home abuse lawyer David Benenfeld, is dedicated to helping victims of abuse; contact us today. For or a free legal consultation and call today: [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].