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Legal Nurse Consulting Article on Nursing Home Drug Abuse

Nursing homes find themselves in many legal battles due to poor patient care.  This is not to say all homes are bad but the ones that are make headlines.  Legal cases erupt due to these abuses.

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The article, US: Nursing Homes Misuse Drugs to Control Residents, states,

“Nursing homes across the United States routinely give antipsychotic drugs to residents with dementia to control their behavior, despite rules against the misuse of drugs as “chemical restraints,” Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. This abusive practice remains widespread, even though the use of antipsychotic drugs on older people with dementia is associated with a nearly doubled risk of death.

The 157-page report, “‘They Want Docile’: How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia,” estimates that every week in US nursing facilities, more than 179,000 people, mostly older and living with dementia, are given antipsychotic drugs without an appropriate diagnosis. Facilities administer these drugs in many cases without obtaining informed consent from residents or their families.

Imagine a nursing home gave your mom drugs — without your permission — to sedate her.

to make life easier for overworked nursing home staff, and the government does little to protect vulnerable residents from such abuse,” said Hannah Flamm, NYU School of Law fellow at Human Rights Watch. “All too often, staff justify using antipsychotic drugs on people with dementia because they interpret urgent expressions of pain or distress as disruptive behavior that needs to be suppressed.”

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