Nursing Home Neglect Law Firm In Washington DC
One of the most common types of cases that a nursing home neglect lawyer Washington DC families trust handles is overmedication of a resident. Obviously, many of the residents in a nursing home have been prescribed medication for health issues, but too often nursing home staff use strong medications in order to manage residents, especially those suffering from dementia. When a resident has been diagnosed with dementia, the side effects can leave them suffering from anxiety. Many become verbally aggressive and even violent with staff and other patients.
How prevalent is this issue? One investigation conducted by NPR found that about 300,000 nursing home residents are on some type of antipsychotic medication. These strong drugs were originally developed to help patients suffering from certain mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, it is becoming far too common for nursing home staff to give these powerful drugs to residents who are suffering from dementia in order to keep them sedated.
But the potential side effects of these drugs can greatly impact a resident’s health. Some of the known side effects include the risk of heart attacks, infections, and even death.
If you are concerned that your loved one is being given antipsychotic medication with a valid medical need, consider contacting a nursing home lawyer Washington, DC clients recommend who can help navigate you through an investigation of the situation and determine what legal steps to take. Overmedication is a form of nursing home abuse, just as critical as physical assaulting a resident or withholding medical treatment.
What Are the Signs of Overmedication?
Families with loved ones in nursing homes should do all they can to make sure there are regular and consistent visits to the home. Notice when you are there how your loved one is acting, how alert they are. Also, discuss with staff just what medications your loved one is being given. Ask questions of staff of what procedures are in place to handle residents who suffer from dementia-related anxiety and aggression. Unfortunately, many nursing homes give residents medication immediately instead of trying other methods that could calm the resident down or divert their attention. There are a number of reasons for this, including lack of training for staff or shortage of staff. No matter what the reason for a medication first procedure, the bottom line is it is dangerous for residents.
Signs a resident may be overmedicated include:
- Appears to be “out of it”
- Becoming easily confused
- Changes in their appetite
- Excessive exhaustion or fatigue
- Sleeping more than usual
- Sudden change in personality
- Sudden withdrawal from people
- Unexplained medical complications
- Unusual physical ailments
If you believe your elderly loved one is being overmedicated, contact Brown Kiely LLP immediately. We will schedule a free consultation with a Washington DC nursing home neglect lawyer who can advise you on what appropriate legal steps are available for you and what legal action you may be able to take against the nursing home.