ABC news reports on the troubling story of one nursing home. Investigators have discovered that when residents at the nursing home complained or annoyed the facilities Director, she chemically restrained them with powerful
anti-psychotic drugs. She was so heavily drugging the residents, that three of the home’s residents died as a direct result.
One victim was a described by her daughter as a feisty
97-year-old who suddenly lost energy. “I’d say, ‘I can’t get my mom
awake,'” she remembers. “She just won’t rouse, she’s lethargic.”
No one told her that her mother had been given a powerful anti-seizure drug that prosecutors say killed her. The state attorney general said that the Director ordered
one patient drugged just for glaring at her. Other residents were left drooling, dehydrated, and
dangerously thin. It was also discovered that the Director had been fired from a nursing home once before for drugging residents.
It has been estimated that nursing homes give anti-psychotics to
one in every four patients. Some suggest that the drugs are replacing
physical restraints, which are now illegal except as a last resort.
What happened in this nursing home may be an
extreme case, but experts say over-drugging is common nationwide, and
the number of nursing home residents who are given these drugs is
rising. For more, read the story.
Robert W. Carter,
Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to
protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted
living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg,
Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.