What is Medication Abuse in a Nursing or Care Home?
The commonest form of negligence in residential nursing home abuse claims occurs when patients or residents receive incorrect medication or incorrect doses of medication.
In what way does this occur?
Care or nursing homes that are not properly run or managed can typically cause the following problems in ensuring that patients get the correct medication:
- They can receive a drug that may never have been prescribed for them at all.
- They can be negligently provided with a drug that does not properly fit, or reacts with, a diet that they need to keep to ensure they are healthy.
- The notes regarding which medication staff should give to each resident are not properly maintained. This can lead to patients receiving incorrect dosages or too much or too little medication.
What are the Warning Signs of Medication Abuse in Nursing homes?
- Unexplained and uncharacteristic behaviour by patients or residents in care or nursing homes.
- Conditions that are clearly present but are not treated.
- Resident or patient can be unusually drowsy or – at the other extreme- agitated.
- Patients can be unwilling to communicate or seem depressed or withdrawn.
What can be Done to Try and Prevent Medication Abuse?
Friends or relatives who visit residents or patients in residential care and nursing homes should if possible become involved and aware of the treatment being provided to them. If they are worried they can ask staff to inform them on what is being prescribed and if necessary should examine the patient’s medication records to ensure that – as far as it is possible for a non medical expert to assess- the medication is correct. If not satisfied they can then involve the resident or patient’s doctor.
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