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What should I do if I think my loved one is overmedicated?

It is not uncommon for people to wonder if something is wrong when their senior loved one starts acting differently than usual. Some family members have elderly relatives in a New Mexico nursing home, where the staff is responsible for providing them with their medication. When an elderly person is asleep for longer periods or acts disoriented or groggy, many family members worry that their relative is sick or is perhaps overmedicated.

If you suspect the staff of the nursing home that cares for your relative has changed your loved one’s health care in perhaps a detrimental way, or if you simply want to know that the staff has changed it, there are steps you can take, according to Aging Care, to find out about it.

Ask about medication changes

As soon as you suspect that your loved one’s medication has been increased or changed, ask the nursing home staff about it. You want to find out how your loved one’s status has changed in the past couple of days as well as whether your loved one was given additional doses of medication or a different medicine. Alterations in dispensing medicine to your loved one should be noted on the clinical record of your relative as well as explanations for why the medication was altered.

Ask for advance reports

You should know in advance if the nursing home staff needs to make any changes to the care of your loved one, so if you find you were not notified about previous alterations, it is a good time to have that changed. Ask to be notified whenever there is a change in the health of your loved one and if there is a corresponding need to alter the medication.

Keep logs

When you discuss your loved one’s health issues with nursing home staff, keep a written log of what you talk about. This will help you remember every important detail of the conversation, including new information you receive. You can also check your log to verify what you talked about with the staff in case they do not follow through with your requested changes.

If you are concerned that the nursing home is not reacting according to your wishes, you may consider moving your relative to a different facility or taking up the matter with a local regulatory body. Keep in mind that this article is not giving you legal advice concerning your situation, only general information on this matter.

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