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When parents put an aging parent or relative in an Ohio nursing home, they trust the staff and management to treat their loved one with care, respect and dignity. Sometimes, nursing home staff misuses drugs to keep residents unnecessarily sedated, betraying that trust.

Human Rights Watch took a deep dive into how some nursing home caregivers misuse and abuse drugs. Knowing illegal resident control methods could help prevent instances of nursing home abuse.

Dementia residents

Usually, patients with dementia are the main victims of nursing home drug misuse. Such patients can become unruly and disruptive, making it hard for nursing home staff to adequately care for them. What is worse is that sometimes, staff members do not have permission from residents or their families before they sedate residents.

Federal regulation violation

When nursing home residents are “chemically restrained,” international human rights law deems it degrading, cruel or inhuman. Despite the federal violation, nursing home directors are not always punished for their misdeeds.

The impact of drug misuse

When nursing home staff overmedicates, or unnecessarily medicates, residents, they can sleep through several meals, notes The Washington Post. Deeply sedated residents often seem comatose, displaying no personality or signs of consciousness to friends and family who visit them.

A lack of government intervention

Even when government inspectors give out citations for drug misuse and abuse, nursing home directors and staff do not always change their ways. One reason for this may be the lack of financial penalties after a facility receives a citation.

The best way to determine the level and type of medication nursing home patients need is through an accurate diagnosis. Nursing home residents and their loved ones also need to know the risks involved with medication.