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Nursing Home Overmedicating Residents on the Rise

Most adults who live in nursing homes or have an in-home caregiver need assistance taking their daily medication. We expect the people who look after our loved ones to administer the proper amount of medication. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Some nurses and other caregivers may overmedicate older residents so they are calmer and sleep more. They may receive this directive from management as a way to be more efficient and cost-effective. 

If you believe that a nursing home is overmedicating a loved one, contact the attorneys at Dalli & Marino. We may be able to help by thoroughly investigating these accusations and guiding you through this challenging time. 

What Is Overmedication? 

Overmedication occurs when an individual takes excessive or unnecessary amounts of medication. It can occur in both residential and institutional settings and may happen by mistake or intentionally. If a nursing home staff member or in-home caregiver intentionally over-medicates an older individual, it is a type of elder abuse. Conversely, if a caregiver accidentally over-medicates a patient, it may be neglect. 

How to Determine if Nursing Home Staff Is Overmedicating Your Loved One

One of the most straightforward ways to determine a change in a senior’s medication is looking for behavioral changes. This may include sleeping more, increased confusion, and lethargy. These are alarming changes, so it is essential to address these concerns immediately. Ask for a supervisor and inquire about any changes in medication status recently. 

Regardless of whether a nurse notes these changes in a chart, request that nurses report any future medication changes to family members. This includes the addition of new medications, even if nurses give them on an as-needed basis. It is also essential to understand that an increase in medication may result from new ailments, such as infections, or indicate the progression of a chronic condition, such as dementia. Fully understanding the situation is vital before pursuing legal action. 

What to Do if You Suspect a Nursing Home Is Overmedicating a Loved One? 

If you believe that nursing home staff is overmedicating a loved one, contact their primary care physician immediately. They can review all medications recently administered to your family member. If the doctor finds that the staff members have been overmedicating them for an extended period of time, they may need to be weaned off the medication slowly. Regardless of the intention behind the overmedication, you should remove them from the institution and contact an attorney. 

Can I Receive Compensation for Nursing Home Staff Overmedicating an Older Adult? 

If the overmedication resulted from abuse or neglect, your loved one might be entitled to financial compensation. Obtaining compensation may be difficult because multiple parties may be involved. While a nurse may have been the individual to administer the medication to the patient, that directive may have come from management. In this case, both parties may be responsible. An attorney may be able to help pinpoint which parties were responsible. 

Additionally, you must prove negligence to obtain compensation. For example, in overmedication claims, the nursing home will likely argue that the patient needed the extra medicine. However, an attorney can have a doctor review the facts to determine whether that is true. 

After reviewing your case, an attorney may be able to secure compensation for the following losses: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Relocation expenses 
  • Wrongful death 

These cases can be complex and lengthy, and it’s best not to tackle them on your own. The attorneys at Dalli & Marino have experience handling these claims and may be able to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. 

Speak to an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today 

At Dalli & Marino, we commit ourselves to defend nursing home residents and their families who have suffered neglect and abuse from nursing home facilities across New York. Since 1996, we have held negligent nursing home institutions responsible for their harmful conduct. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, call (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.  

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