One of the tasks that nursing homes are entrusted with is ensuring that their residents get and take any medication they may need. Yet some reports suggest that many nursing homes are giving patients drugs they don’t need as well.
Specifically, the government is conducting an audit of nursing homes this year to study this issue. In particular, they will be looking at those residents who are being prescribed antipsychotics.
These drugs are meant for people with specific mental health conditions
Antipsychotic drugs are powerful and can do a lot of harm to someone who does not need them. Many nursing homes are overstretched due to staff shortages. Some workers may feel that giving a resident whom they consider challenging these sedatives will make their job easier. It will free up time for them to attend to all their other tasks and other people under their care. So, they code the resident as having schizophrenia or another mental health condition to allow them to sedate them.
Consider a late diagnosis of schizophrenia as a warning sign
If your loved one was only given a schizophrenia diagnosis once they entered a long-term care facility, you might want to seek professional guidance. Consider speaking to their previous doctor, as most cases of the condition are diagnosed and evident early in life. A late diagnosis may be a misdiagnosis designed to offer nursing home staff an easy way out instead of giving your loved one the care they need and deserve.
While you might feel guilty about being suspicious of nursing home staff and management, it’s better that you act than that you ignore your hunch and regret it later. If you feel that drug issues may be affecting your loved one, consider seeking legal help to understand your options.