Nursing Home Director Used Anti-Psychotic Drugs to Restrain Patients

ABC news reports on the troubling story of one nursing home. Investigators have discovered that when residents at the nursing home complained or annoyed the facilities Director, she chemically restrained them with powerful anti-psychotic drugs. She was so heavily drugging the residents, that three of the home's residents died as a direct result.

One victim was a described by her daughter as a feisty 97-year-old who suddenly lost energy. "I'd say, 'I can't get my mom awake,'" she remembers. "She just won't rouse, she's lethargic."

No one told her that her mother had been given a powerful anti-seizure drug that prosecutors say killed her. The state attorney general said that the Director ordered one patient drugged just for glaring at her. Other residents were left drooling, dehydrated, and dangerously thin. It was also discovered that the Director had been fired from a nursing home once before for drugging residents.

It has been estimated that nursing homes give anti-psychotics to one in every four patients. Some suggest that the drugs are replacing physical restraints, which are now illegal except as a last resort. What happened in this nursing home may be an extreme case, but experts say over-drugging is common nationwide, and the number of nursing home residents who are given these drugs is rising. For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.