According to a report recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services, 14% of the 2.1 million elderly nursing home patients, during the first 6 months of 2007, were being prescribed at least one atypical anti-psychotic drug. It was found that over half of that 14% were prescribed the drugs for dementia alone. The anti-psychotics, including Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Risperadal, have NOT been approved for use in the treatment of dementia. In fact, the FDA has indicated that not only do these drugs offer no benefits to dementia patients, they actually can cause life threatening side effects. This undoubtedly a form of nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse via Chemical Restraint Is an Easy Form of Control
It seems that the drugs are being used as chemical restraints; a way to sedate patients so that they require less attention. As an added “bonus,” the home can end up making a large profit from this practice. Due to medicaid reimbursements, the home is making money on every patient they wrongfully sedate with anti-psychotic drugs.
Nursing homes get paid a lot of money to care for your loved ones. Most of the time, they drain your loved one of all of their resources, perhaps even some of yours, and then continue to collect insurance payments. These costs should afford our elderly and sick population good, dedicated, and attentive care. The misuse of anti-psychotic drugs to restrain patients is depraved. Safeguards need to be put into place to make sure that such prescription drug abuse is not occurring.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help
If your loved one is being given atypical anti-psychotic drugs to “help with dementia“, you are witnessing nursing home abuse or neglect. You should discuss this issue with the staff at the nursing home and, if you aren’t completely satisfied with the responses you are receiving, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Our lawyers are dedicated to eradicating the disturbing trends of nursing home abuse in long term care facilities throughout the nation.