Is Overmedicating in a Nursing Home Considered Negligence?

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When our loved one’s progress into later stages in life, things can become more difficult than we originally anticipated. Sometimes the best option is to opt for a nursing home that can provide your loved one with the best care possible as well as give you peace of mind that they are taken care of and being looked after. Entrusting an institution of sorts with people who mean the most to you can be a scary thing. It’s important to understand your legal options should anything go wrong, and that’s where your attorney can come into play.

Overmedicating is a common problem in nursing homes and is absolutely against the law. It also is one of the more common problems facing nursing homes across the country. Overmedicating can occur when an individual is either taking too much of a medication or is ingesting a medication that they don’t actually need and is a form of elderly abuse. This often occurs in order to make patients easier to manage and helps staff to get them to comply quicker.

So, is overmedicating in a nursing home considered negligence? In the most basic light, the answer would be, yes. Intentionally providing inadequate medical care is always negligence and you will have grounds to sue. Occasionally there is accidental overmedication which is often caused by understaffing or when inexperienced caregivers try to administer over the counter drugs as well as prescribed drugs (i.e. family members). Always consult a doctor if you are an inexperienced caregiver for this reason.

However, if your loved one is in a nursing home, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a few signs of overmedication:

  1. Excessive confusion
  2. Abnormal levels of lethargy that are not consistent with your loved one or their health
  3. Development of unexplained medical conditions
  4. Extreme levels of reclusiveness
  5. Sleeping for exceptionally long periods of time

Should you start to notice any of these signs, get your loved one in to see a doctor as soon as possible and consider your other living options for them. The most important thing is that your loved ones are happy, healthy, and being taken care of.

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