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Medication Abuse in Nursing Homes

Many things in life are hard to believe until you experience them for yourself. Finding out that nursing home staff withhold medicine from residents is one of them. Preventing residents from receiving their medications is never justified. All decisions regarding prescriptions should be made by residents’ physicians, and nursing home caregivers must administer residents’ medications as their doctors have prescribed.

If nursing home staff have been withholding medications from you or a loved one, it is important that you seek professional help. Intentionally withholding medications is often just one of many forms of ongoing staff misconduct, and staff members will continue to mistreat patients until they are given a reason not to do so. At Levine Law, we can take immediate action to protect you or your senior family member. We can help you obtain treatment, and we can hold your nursing home financially accountable for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and other harm resulting from the withholding of medication.

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Jordan S. Levine

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Medication Abuse in Nursing Homes: Answers to FAQs

Why would a nursing home staff member withhold medication from a resident?

Unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons why a nursing home staff member may withhold medication from a resident. A staff member could lack the necessary training, overlook a resident’s prescription, or misunderstand a resident’s medication needs. Or, a staff member could intentionally withhold a resident’s medications. Sadly, like many other forms of abuse, intentional withholding of medication is a pervasive issue, and it is a possibility that cannot be overlooked when investigating the reason for a medication error.

Can nursing home staff make decisions regarding the administration of residents’ prescription medications?

Generally speaking, no. Caregivers must administer residents’ medications as prescribed by their physicians. If a caregiver has concerns about side effects or negative interactions involving a resident’s medications, he or she must raise these concerns through the appropriate channels.

Is a nursing home legally responsible if one of its staff members intentionally withholds medication?

Yes. Nursing homes are liable for the acts of their employees, and this includes the intentional withholding of medication. Nursing homes can be held directly liable for negligent hiring, or “vicariously” liable based upon the employer-employee relationship.

What if I (or my loved one) has been receiving some medications but not others?

Withholding medications is never okay. Even if you or your loved one is receiving some medications but not others, this still constitutes wrongful withholding of medication.

What compensation is available for medical conditions resulting from lack of medication?

The types of compensation for medical conditions resulting from lack of medication are the same as those that are available for other forms of nursing home neglect and abuse. These include:

  • Medical bills (current and future)
  • Prescription costs and other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of society, support, companionship and enjoyment of life

Contact Our Denver Law Offices for a Free and Confidential Consultation

For more information about your legal rights in a situation involving the withholding of medication in a Denver nursing home, we encourage you to contact us for a free and confidential consultation. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys in confidence, please call 303-333-8000 or get in touch online today.