There is no denying that many elderly people in Kentucky nursing homes are heavily medicated. Are they being overmedicated as a method of keeping them docile and less of a burden to the nursing home staff? Some probably are, but ElderCarelink, one organization focused on issues related to care of seniors, suggests that implications of widespread overmedication in nursing homes are grossly overstated.

Why Nursing Home Residents Receive Medication

Perhaps in their 70s, 80s, or even 90s, the elderly in nursing homes have been exposed to a lifetime of environmental substances and have been experiencing the gradual, natural breakdown of their bodies. They may be dealing with cancer, heart disease, dementia, or other serious medical conditions, resulting in anger, depression, anxiety, or other mental or emotional consequences. In addition to the drugs they receive for their medical problems, therefore, they may also be taking medication to relieve these other conditions.

Other Issues That the Elderly Face

Even if nursing home residents are relatively healthy, consider what they may be going through:

  • They know that they are approaching the end of their lives.
  • Most or all of their friends have died.
  • They no longer live in their own homes but in a controlled, group setting.
  • Because they have limited space in the nursing home, they no longer have many of their personal belongings.
  • They hear the cries and laments of other upset residents.
  • They may have no family close by, or perhaps their family members are deceased.
  • Whereas they may have spent their lives caring for other people, they are now the ones being taken care of.

When Medication Is Necessary to Control Behavior

When the safety of visitors, staff, and other residents is in jeopardy, the nursing home staff may believe that medication is the best option. If a resident is acting out, grabbing or cursing at others, the rights of other people are being abused. The agitated resident may be a danger to him- or herself as well as others.

ElderCarelink mentions an incident in which a nursing home resident attacked another resident, resulting in the death of the victim. Isabel Fawcett, the writer of the article, says, “Resident, staff, and visitor safety risks should never be ignored by responsible directors of nursing [homes] and/or nursing home administrators.”

Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law