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Drug misuse leads to nursing home malpractice and wrongful death

People across the nation must often trust nursing homes to care for elder family members. It takes a great leap of faith to place such trust in strangers, but in a modern world, it is sometimes the only option. Elderly patients with dementia are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment in these facilities.

Recently, a family that lost a loved one to nursing home malpractice inside such a facility received a settlement for the man's death. The 78-year-old man, who was still quite energetic, entered a nursing home early in 2013. He died just 10 months later while residing in the facility. Reportedly, the man was prescribed psychotropic drugs without family consent, which are often fatal to elderly patients suffering from dementia.

This case and several others have sparked outrage about nursing home malpractice and wrongful death involving medications. A similar case involving a facility in Delaware is currently still ongoing. Many experts call the "dangerous overuse of psychotropic drugs in nursing facilities" a national crisis.

On the other side of the coin, caregivers employed in nursing homes say the use of psychotropic drugs is justifiable in patients who may harm themselves or are disruptive. Counter arguments claim that administering these reportedly dangerous drugs to elders is simply an exercise in convenience.

Ohio has its share of facilities housing elderly patients with dementia. As a family member, you have a right to know about your loved one's treatment regime. If you believe nursing home malpractice involving medication is happening to your family member, please consider talking with a lawyer about your case. Taking action early can prevent the tragic loss of someone you love.

Source: AARP, "Deadly Drugs Misused In U.S. Nursing Facilities," April 10, 2017

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