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Overmedicating the Elderly

Medications and prescriptions are a common part of life for many nursing home residents. Unfortunately, too many medications and the interactions between various prescriptions can have adverse effects on the body, and they can cause even more medical problems.

When doctors prescribe medications, or when over the counter medications are provided to nursing home residents without the knowledge of a physician, nursing home residents can become injured. Over medication can cause many different injuries, and some of the symptoms of overmedication include:

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Changes in Mood
  • Dementia
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Changes in Eating Patterns
  • Weight Loss

Overmedication can result in serious injuries like broken bones, brain injuries, and even death because they can make the nursing home resident more prone to falls. Too many medications can impair a person’s balance and coordination, causing them to fall and hurt themselves.

As we age, the body begins to react differently to medications. This means that medications that an individual may have been taking for years may begin to cause adverse side effects. Some of the other causes of overmedication include miscommunication between doctors and nursing home staff and illegible prescriptions.

Unfortunately, overmedication can often become a cycle of more and more prescriptions. An older nursing home resident could be suffering from the effects of overmedication and go to the doctor for help, only to be diagnosed with a different prescription, adding to their problems.

One of the ways you can prevent overmedication from occurring and make sure your loved one is as healthy as possible is by periodically reviewing all the medications they are taking. You can do this identifying the name of their medications and talking an experienced doctor or pharmacist to determine if the dosages are correct or if the interactions between the drugs are dangerous or not.

If you’re loved one is a resident of a nursing home and you believe they have been injured as a result of overmedication, please contact one of the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Cullan & Cullan in Phoenix, Arizona today to schedule an initial consultation; our phone number is (602) 786-8860.


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