Nursing Home Negligence - Overmedicating Seniors

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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If your loved one has suffered from overmedication at a Florida nursing home, contact Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, PL, for a legal consultation. We are experienced in nursing home abuse and neglect cases and can help your family take legal action against the responsible party. Giving a nursing home resident unnecessary or excessive amounts of a medication is a form of nursing home abuse or neglect. Overmedication by mistake is negligence, while intentionally overmedicating or sedating an elderly resident is abuse.

Why Does Overmedication Occur?

Most nursing home residents require daily medications to combat symptoms of an illness, control a health condition, or to maintain good health. It is up to the nursing home facility and its staff members to take due care in reviewing residents’ medical histories and prescriptions and to administer the correct medications and dosages. Failure to do so, resulting in resident overmedication and related harm, can expose the facility to legal liability.

In some cases, negligent or careless employees might accidentally overmedicate a resident by misreading a prescription or mixing up patients or medicines. Negligent overmedication (or undermedication) and can lead to a civil lawsuit against the facility. In other cases, nursing homes intentionally overmedicate their residents, typically in an effort to control them more easily. This is a type of elder abuse that is against the law and can result in both a criminal case and a civil claim.

Intentionally overmedicating residents can arise as an illegal means of restraint. Nursing homes might administer sedatives or antipsychotics to calm residents down or to force them to comply with commands. Regardless of the reason for overmedication, the victim or his/her family members have the right to investigate and potentially pursue a claim against the at-fault party in Florida.

Signs and Symptoms of Overmedication

You might be able to tell if your family member is experiencing overmedication at a nursing home if you know what the signs are. The sooner you can detect this act of negligence or abuse, the better for your loved one’s health and wellbeing. While the symptoms can change depending on the type of medication and severity of overdose, a few common signs include:

  • Sudden mood swings
  • Changes in behaviors or personality
  • Excessive fatigue, lethargy, or lack of energy
  • Confusion or indifference
  • Unexplained health complications
  • Sudden declines in health

Overmedication can also cause physical illnesses or worsen existing conditions. In some cases, overmedication can result in death. If your elderly loved one suffered any kind of harm due to overmedication, you should hire an attorney with experience in nursing home abuse cases. Nursing home staff members receive training to understand proper medication protocol. Breaking the rules to intentionally overmedicate a patient or negligently skipping steps are both wrongdoing that offer a resident the grounds to file a lawsuit.

Contact Our Firm for a Consultation About Overmedication

Overmedication is an event that should not happen at careful, dutiful, and law-abiding nursing homes. At Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, PL, we proudly stand up for the rights of Florida’s elderly. We give voices to those who might otherwise stay silent and can help overmedication victims and their family members pursue financial compensation for related damages.

If you believe you have grounds for a lawsuit, your first step should be to contact us. We can help you with the paperwork, documentation, and filing deadline for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in any county in Florida. It’s our job to comfort you and your family during this difficult time and to help your loved one exercise his or her legal rights. Call (954) 467-6400 for more information about your specific case.

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