As we have discussed in recent months, nursing home abuse is a dangerous and growing problem in the United States. In many cases, we cannot even begin to figure out why someone was provoked to abuse the elderly. However, it is happening at an alarming rate. While we can not even think of physical, emotional, financial, and even sexual abuse when talking about the elderly, we came across an interesting case that raises questions about the amount of medication hospice and nursing home patients receive. Let’s take a brief look at this case before diving deeper into the dangers associated with overmedicated patients in nursing homes.
Hospice Company Under Fire for Overmedication
A Frisco, Texas hospice company has found itself at the center of an FBI investigation because of claims that they are administering excessive doses of certain prescription drugs, such as morphine. According to government inspection documents, the sickest patients are receiving abnormally high doses of medication in order to end their lives. In the report it was uncovered that 10 out of 13 patients in 2014 or 2015 that were under the care of the hospice company – Novus – received undocumented doses of drugs. Eight of these patients died in the ensuing weeks.
Since this information has come to light numerous families have stepped forward due to concerns about the wellbeing of their own elderly loved ones. Novus has been under increased pressure and a bright spotlight, which has resulted in other concerns surrounding the quality of care by the hospice company. This case in particular highlights the growing problem we are seeing in the United States surrounding the care of our elderly populations. Elderly abuse comes in many different shapes and sizes, which is why it is important that we continue to raise awareness about this problem and contact authorities when necessary.
The Real Problem in Nursing Homes? Overmedication
NPR recently ran a story about the problem with overmedication in nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities that ties right into the case mentioned above. According to the story, nearly 300,000 nursing home residents are receiving some type of antipsychotic drugs in order to treat common ailments such as dementia, anxiety, and depression. The problem, however, is that these types of drugs are mainly approved to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. When patients who are not suffering from these mental issues receive antipsychotics, the result can be deadly. Many elderly patients appear to be catatonic or mentally restrained in some way, which can be linked to this problem of overmedication.
It can be difficult to know whether or not our parents and other elderly loved ones are being properly cared for when under the roof of a nursing home, hospice center, or other similar facility. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more cases of nursing home abuse, which comes in many different shapes and sizes. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or would like to learn more about your rights when it comes to overmedication or other types of neglect and abuse, please contact Rad Law Firm today. Our Dallas nursing home abuse attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have and ensure everything possible is being done in order to protect your loved ones.