Nursing Home Medication Issues
Most residents in skilled nursing homes and other elder care facilities need to rely on medication in order to treat an illness or maintain their health. In some cases, elderly relatives are shifted to care facilities in the first place because they might need extensive care, with periodic visits from doctors and a never-ending prescription to be followed. However, their mentally and physically frail condition requires a skilled caretaker to help take the medication and, if required, go in for appointments to have their medications adjusted by a doctor.
Nursing homes and any other care facilities are required to suitably order, store, administer, record and monitor medications for each patient or resident. Despite the presence of strict laws and regulations, over-medication and unnecessary medication is common in elder abuse cases.
Types Of Unnecessary Medication
California law requires each nursing home to ensure that every resident’s medicine routine is free from unnecessary medication. The law describes unnecessary medication as:
• Any drug given without adequate monitoring
• Any drug given for excessive time
• Any drug given in excessive doses
• Any drug given without ample indications for its use
• Any drug continued in the presence of adverse effects when the drug indicates discontinuing or reducing dose
• Any combinations of the reasons above
Signs Of Medication Issues
If you feel that an elderly loved one is not being provided adequate care regarding their medication at a nursing home, you should look for the following signs:
• Unpredictable or mysterious change in personality or behavior
• Sudden urge to be isolated, even from family and relatives
• Complications in medical procedures
• Getting easily confused
• Blank stares
If you notice any of these symptoms or any other likely symptoms which point to over medication or administration of unnecessary medications, you should get your loved one checked and consider reporting the nursing home with the local police department or the California Department of Licensing for SNFs.
Medication Errors And Elder Abuse Attorneys
A medication error is dissimilarity between the facility’s actions and either physicians orders, acceptable medical standards or manufacturer’s specifications. In case a medication error causes problems for the resident and leads to health complications, it is considered as abuse.
A research study conducted in 2010 concluded that almost 40% of elderly residents were given anti-psychotic drugs around the United States, even though they were not diagnosed with psychosis. Still today, staff members of a large number of nursing homes are involved in intentional medication errors, which put the lives of many elderly residents at stake each year.
At Lanzone Morgan, we understand all the ins and outs of the laws governing the adequate administration of medicines in care facilities and SNFs. Our attorneys have years of dedicated experience regarding handling of elder abuse cases where medication errors lead to complexities and even death. The diverse experience we have picked up in the last years allow us to aggressively advocate for each client and successfully obtain the best possible results and compensations for a facility’s violation of resident’s medication rights. If you or an elderly person close to you is facing abuse due to medication errors, be sure to call us at 1-888-887-9777 to speak with an attorney about your nursing home abuse case!