As you probably well know, nursing home abuse is rampant in Florida. While many forms of abuse are overt and leave physical wounds, just as many are subtle and oftentimes insidious. A common example of the latter form of abuse is medication errors.
According to Nursing Home Abuse Center, nursing home medication errors typically fall into one of two categories: careless mistake and intentional drug misuse. Regardless of which category your loved one’s event falls into, know that, because of the very preventable and oftentimes dangerous nature of them, the law considers medication errors a form of nursing home abuse.
Careless medication errors can occur in a number of ways. For instance, your elderly parent may receive the wrong dose of his or her own medication. He or she may receive another resident’s medication, or a staff member may neglect to administer medication entirely. Though careless errors are the result of several factors, they are more often than not the result of overworked employees.
That said, elderly persons often rely on the appropriate dose of the appropriate medication to maintain their health and well-being, or even to survive. For these reasons, there is no excuse for careless mistakes. When an unintentional oversight occurs, it falls into the realm of neglect, which is a form of abuse.
There may be no excuse for careless medication mistakes, but intentional drug misuse is unforgivable. Sadly, the intentional misuse of chemical restraints is a widespread phenomenon throughout U.S. nursing homes. Off-label antipsychotic medications are the most commonly abused type of drug, as staff members use them to keep patients docile. This is the case even for patients who have no clinical reason to take them.
Per a government analysis, nearly 200,000 nursing home residents are subject to chemical restraints each week. As many as 15,000 patients die a year because of antipsychotic abuse.
If you suspect your loved one is the victim of a medication error or medication misuse, he or she could be in danger. You may need to take swift legal action to keep him or her safe.