Doctors give their patients written prescriptions all the time. People then go to the local drug store to have the pharmacists fill the prescription in the exact manner the doctor ordered it. On the label of the prescription are specific directions that the patient must follow when taking the medicine. It tells how many doses per day they are to take and at what times.
Most elderly patients are on more than one prescription drug and find it hard to keep track of them all. They might buy a pill minder, a device that helps people organize their medications.
Residents in nursing homes either cannot or will not be allowed to administer prescription drugs on their own. These facilities employ a full time nursing staff along with aides who take care of this responsibility. When a patient is admitted to a nursing home, family members assume that their loved one’s medical needs are being taken care of.
However, there have been situations in nursing homes where the staff neglects their patients by either withholding medication or intentionally overmedicating them. This causes the patient’s fragile condition to worsen and can result in needless pain and suffering. For an elderly person, this can also lead to terrible consequences.
Why abuses like this happen in nursing homes vary. Some administrators order psychotropic drugs to be given to control the behavior of patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Some are overmedicated with anti-psychotic drugs in order to control their behavior and make them easier to handle. Residents have sometimes been forcibly held down while being given these drugs.
The reasons for withholding a patient’s medication break down to several factors. It could just be incompetence of the staff, a failure to keep can accurate schedule of when and what meds a person is supposed to take on a daily basis. It could be deliberate if the administration feels that the patient is close to passing away. They want to save money by not administering drugs to a terminal individual that could be used in what they consider to be a more viable situation.
If you feel that your loved one is not being care for properly in a nursing home, first contact your local Area Agency on Aging, a government agency that specializes in senior citizen issues. They employ Case Workers and Ombudsmen who investigate senior citizen abuse, especially in a nursing home situation. Then contact the attorneys of Michael J. O’Connor & Associates. We have experienced nursing home abuse lawyers who can help you help the ones you love.