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Over-medication can harm nursing home residents

The staff members at nursing homes carry a big responsibility. Thousands of families in Florida entrust these institutions with the comfort and care of their elderly loved ones. Nursing homes should competently provide their residents with the supervision, nutrition and medical care they need. This, however, does not always occur. Instead, far too often nursing home neglect takes over, putting residents at serious risk of harm or death.

One way this happens is through improper over-medicating. Tragically, many nursing homes over-medicate their patients so as to make them docile, tired and easy to manage. Medicating patients, however, should not be based on what is easiest for nursing home employees. In fact, doing so could lead to the triggering of a medicine allergy or an overdose, which could prove injurious or fatal.

So, how can Florida residents ensure that their elderly loved ones are being properly medicated? One way is to ensure that they are being notified whenever there is a medication change, whether it be in type of medication or dosage. Also, if a family notices a change in their loved one's behavior, it may be worth inquiring as to the type of medication and dosage being given. Once that information is in hand, a family may choose to consult a doctor who can tell them if such medicating is appropriate.

In the end, many nursing homes fulfill their duties. Yet, some fail miserably, and innocent elderly individuals fall victim. When this happens, serious physical and emotional harm can occur, and it may require extensive medical care to treat. Those who have been subjected to nursing home neglect or abuse may want to consider their legal options.

Source: AgingCare.com, "Is the Nursing Home Over-Medicating Your Elderly Parent?" Carol Bradley Bursack, accessed on Dec. 26, 2015

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