It isn’t easy for the staff at nursing homes to demands of all of the residents on a daily basis. The lower the typical staffing level and the higher-demand the residents are, the more likely it is for some people to have needs or wants to go on next.
One of the ways that nursing home staff members reduce the pressure on overworked employees is through the use of chemical restraints. Typically, staff members need a valid justification to use sedatives or other prescription medications to render someone docile or unconscious.
Overuse of medication among elderly patients is it serious health concern. What should you do if you suspect that nursing home staff have inappropriately employed chemical restraints when caring for your loved one?
Look into the situation carefully
If your loved one is still lucid, you may be able to talk to them about how the staff members treat them when you have a private moment together. They might let you know that they often wind up drugged and left unattended for hours at a time or have very little recollection of the times when they are under the influence.
The internal records at the nursing home could also help. You might be able to detect a pattern in when they administer the drugs to your loved one. If a certain worker frequently requests chemical restraints or your loved one always ends up with sedated on the weekends, that pattern could be an indicator of inappropriate medication use rather than the careful and selected use of medication for the comfort of your loved one and the protection of the staff.
Documentation is key in nursing home neglect cases
The use of chemical restraints is dangerous in and of itself as the drugs can carry major side effects and can even sometimes lead to chemical dependence. The possibility of staff overtly neglecting your loved one after medicating them is another concern.
You will need proof of the inappropriate use of medication or of injury to your loved one if you want to file an insurance claim or civil law related to a negligent standard of care at a nursing home. Recognizing that chemical restraints often play a role in nursing home neglect cases can help you better advocate for a vulnerable older loved one.