Every year, hundreds of elderly Americans come under the care of nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and independent living communities. The providers and caregivers that work at nursing homes are supposed to provide our loved ones with the care and attention they deserve, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home residents are abused, neglected, and mistreated on an alarmingly regular basis, bringing into question whether or not these facilities are really safe. Abuse and neglect take many different forms, including over-drugging, withholding medication, and giving the wrong medication.
Just last week a local news outlet broke the story of a Parkland nursing home that is being investigated for possible over-drugging of patients. According to sources, at least two nurses at Duncanville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center are being accused of over-drugging patients in a practice many refer to as “taking patients to China”. Sources tell WFAA that nurses at the Parkland long-term care facility have been using antipsychotic drugs to sedate and control patients, even when they do not require these drugs or any kind of sedation. Other workers at the nursing home report that a group of workers call the alleged over-drugging “taking a patient to China”, which they refer to as giving a patient any medication that will put them to sleep.
The Growing Problem of Nursing Home Abuse
In WFAA’s “Drugged and Dying” series, they discovered a reported 70 percent of nursing home expense goes to hiring and staffing. In Texas, there are no minimum staffing requirements in place, meaning many nursing homes cut corners and hire unqualified individuals. The news team also learned that nursing homes rely on over-drugging of patients because they are short on staff and do not have the manpower to properly care for the patients. We will be sure to update you as the investigation into Duncanville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center continues.
Intentional over-medication or over-drugging is done in order to make an individual patient easier to control, which is also referred to as “chemical restraint”. Nurses rely on antipsychotics and sedatives in order to calm a patient down or make them easier to deal with. While many patients require these medications at certain times, a large number of patients are unknowingly being given sedatives. Many states have made an effort to regulate this kind of abuse of power, but still others – like Texas – have very lax rules in regards to hygiene, restraints, and medications. In order to protect our elderly loved ones, it is imperative we work together to raise awareness about nursing home abuse and try to get lawmakers to put stricter guidelines in place.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Wormington & Bollinger have represented countless families who have had a loved one mistreated in a nursing home. We understand how shocking and difficult these cases are, which is why we are dedicated to representing your best interests. If your loved one has been abused by a local McKinney or Dallas nursing home worker or provider, please contact us today.