There have been major advancements in medicine in recent decades. Unlike in the past, today’s doctors often have a variety of tools for diagnosing and treating serious medical conditions. They also have ways to alleviate both acute and chronic pain.
Pain medication often acts as a mild sedative, but it does not usually over-sedate patients. Antipsychotic medication is a different story. If you have a highly sedated loved one in the nursing home, you might need to investigate whether he or she is a victim of nursing home abuse.
The therapeutic role of antipsychotic mediation
Antipsychotic drugs play an important role in the treatment of many medical conditions, ranging from bipolar disorder to dementia. Still, because these medications have a sedative effect, doctors must carefully monitor their use. If patients take more medication than they need, they may struggle to remain awake, speak, eat and perform other basic functions. They also may experience memory lapses.
The abusive nature of antipsychotic medication
Sadly, antipsychotic medications are abusable, both by patients and those who administer medication. According to Human Rights Watch, some nursing home professionals use these medications to drug patients as a form of discipline. Indeed, antipsychotic medication can serve as chemical restraints for nursing home residents.
The care your loved one deserves
Your loved one probably deserves to live his or her life without sedation. Unfortunately, though, if nurses are over-administering antipsychotic drugs, your relative may not be able to complain or resist. This means you may have to intervene to protect his or her interests.
Ultimately, if the nursing home is using antipsychotic medication to abuse your loved one, he or she might be eligible for substantial financial compensation.