Rising prescriptions of narcotic painkillers to elderly and disabled residents at care centers have brought in a new set of ways for Kentucky nursing home abuse attorneys to help their clients. A new means of medical neglect and violations of FDA guidelines, the use of sedatives puts residents at the increased risk of heart attacks, slip and fall accidents, and death. Though the trend is visible nationwide with over 300,000 residents in assisted living centers being administered these drugs, Kentucky care homes have emerged as the hot spot of narcotic painkiller misuse.
Anti-psychotic drugs are used to treat mental illness. However, elder patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia may suffer from fatal consequences due to adverse drug side effects. Though the FDA has warned of potential “risk of heart failure, infections and death,” thousands of Kentucky nursing home residents are still prescribed these drugs each year. Even the federal government initiated a campaign against such practice at nursing homes in 2012, but the rate of prescriptions continue.
According to nonprofit organization ProPublica, many Kentucky nursing home residents are frequently given these sedatives even they don’t need them. Based on the federal Medicare data, the report ranks the state 8th among 50 states in narcotic painkiller prescription to elder care residents. Many sick, home-bound residents are prescribed these drugs irrespective of degree of pain they suffer or existing health conditions.
Consumer activities and nursing home abuse attorneys in Kentucky equate such prescription of painkillers to residents with abuse and neglect incidents for the following side effects:
- Wrongful death of residents because of adverse drug reaction
- Residents are at an increased risk of slip and fall
- Residents may suffer from neurological and behavioral disorders
- The increased risk of residents suffering from heart attacks
- Painkiller addiction problems
- Increase in resident-on-resident attacks
- Sedated residents are at an increased risk of physical and sexual abuse
- Wrong medication administration
Nursing Home Abuse in Kentucky A Shame
Recent data released by the Gerontological Society of America shows that at least one in 10 people aged above 60 faces the threat of abuse from their caregivers. In Kentucky, nursing home neglect is widespread with over 90 percent care centers are cited for one or more serious deficiencies in the past five years. In 2014, the total number of complaints, of which more than 85 percent were found to be genuine, saw a five percent jump over the previous year.
Apart from deliberate neglect and abandonment by Kentucky nursing home staff, the majority of elders are victims of physical and psychological abuse. The sexual victimization has largely remained hidden due to the lack of complaints and concrete evidence in most cases. Residents of one in every five state assisted living facilities have died or were injured severely last year solely because of carelessness by caregivers.
Studies have highlighted how “per day direct professional care” has been less than minimal impacting overall quality of life of residents. Nursing home abuse attorneys in Kentucky have consistently cited how factors, such as lack of nutrients in diet, inadequate fluid to drink, unhygienic conditions, lack of care and equipment, and improper medical treatment, resulted in injuries and death of residents.
Kentucky elders face a horrible time at care centers living under the threat of abuse, mistreatment, neglect, and insult. If you have reasons to believe that a resident is subject to abuse at a nursing home in Kentucky, please contact our team of Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers at 1-866-447-0150 to discuss the best course of action.