Is Your Loved One Being Overmedicated in a Nursing Home? July 15, 2020 by Robbins Law, P.C. Overmedication, in a nursing home, can be the result of negligence or intentional abuse. Intentional or not, the consequences can be fatal, and neither is excusable. Unintentional medication errors can lead to overmedication and should never occur in nursing homes. Frighteningly common is the use of chemical restraints to keep nursing home residents under control, including dangerous antipsychotic medications which are known to increase the risk of death in nursing home residents with dementia, the very patients most likely to be subjected to this abuse. If you suspect that your loved ones injuries or death were the result of overmedication in a nursing home, talk to an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer right away. Know the Signs It’s unfortunate and unfair, but when you have a loved one in a nursing home, you have to be on constant lookout for signs of all types of neglect and abuse. That includes watching for the signs that you loved one is being overmedicated, both by mistake and intentionally. Signs include: An increase in falls, bruises, or other injuriesConstant fatigueErratic personality changesAgitationLethargySleeping moreGrogginessProblems with balanceConfusionWanderingWithdrawalHallucinationsDifficulty concentratingDifficulty forming a coherent thought Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes The use of chemical restraints to control nursing home residents is abuse and it is very dangerous. However, it is also the common culture in nursing homes to rely on drugs to control behavior and minimize the need for supervision. Understaffed nursing homes often use overmedication as a way to keep large numbers of residents under control when there simply aren’t enough staff members to provide necessary supervision. Understaffing is negligence on the part of the nursing home. Antipsychotic drugs are known to increase the risk of death in in elderly patients with dementia, but nonetheless, they are commonly used to sedate dementia patients so that they are easier to manage. According Human Rights Watch, each week more than 179,000 people are given antipsychotic drugs in U.S. nursing homes, without a proper diagnosis. If you suspect that your loved one is being overmedicated in a nursing home, please contact the Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer at Robbins & Associates, right away by calling 800-772-5555 or contacting us online.