The number of patients in nursing homes continues to skyrocket. When you entrust the care of your loved one to a residential facility, you expect they will be properly cared for, including administration of their daily prescription medicines. We often think of problems with medicine as medicines that are not given at all. However, there are some other issues that may constitute neglect. Below are some examples you may not have considered as neglect.
Not following prescription instructions. Many drugs are labeled with specific instructions for use, including take on an empty stomach, take with food, or do not mix with acidic drinks. Failure to follow these instructions can inhibit the drug’s effectiveness or even cause serious medical emergencies.
Not consistently administering drugs according to a schedule. Many prescription drugs should be administered at the same time each day for maximum effectiveness. If these drugs are given late or early, the patient can suffer.
Not properly shaking medicine before administering. Some medicines, including many insulins, include directions to shake well before administering. This step provides for uniformity in the drug and gives a more consistent dosage.
Failing to provide liquids or food as needed with drugs. Some drugs must be taken with food to ensure proper absorption and reduce stomach upset. Not providing these needed items can cause discomfort for the patient, reduce the effectiveness of the medicine, or cause other complications.
If you feel your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home or other residential care facility, contact Tammy Bowles Raines for a free consultation.