Elderly Drug Abuse: Over-Medication in Nursing Homes
However unfortunate, elderly drug abuse happens more recurrently in nursing homes than most people realize. A motivating factor for some caregivers is to keep patients in a lethargic state to lessen their day-to-day workload. After all, a comatose patient requires less attention and thus less personal care.
Proving an elderly patient has been subjected to drug abuse is no simple task in the courtroom. As such, attorneys often recommend class action suits to show a series of cases rather than a solitary occurrence. However, drug abuse can sometimes be an isolated event. In these cases, a reputable nursing home abuse lawyer should find another avenue for defense.
In situations where family members frequently visit their loved one, drug abuse can be more easily detected in nursing homes. Telltale signs often include:
Sudden withdrawal from communication or routine activities,
Inattentiveness when spoken to and/or the
Sudden onset of drooling, nose picking or tongue smacking
If drug abuse is suspected, seeking legal consultation may be the next logical step. In most cases, an attorney will not only try to stop the abuse, but aim for compensation including funds for relocation of the patient to a safer facility. However, lawsuits can sometimes lead to repercussions, so moving your loved one to alternative facility may be wise before case proceedings. As well, an attorney may be able to legally break the nursing home contract even during the investigation.
Because it can be burdensome for an elderly patient to handle their own lawsuit, it’s often upon family members to see the process through to fruition. Although this can be a grievous undertaking, it may be necessary to keep proceedings in order and on schedule.
If you suspect a nursing home of over-medication, or any other form of elderly abuse, an attorney should be promptly notified. Elderly abuse can often be ceased simply by contacting an attorney. Well before a trial is ever needed, this is sometimes enough to persuade the accused nursing home to raise their standard of care.
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