Polypharmacy occurs when a patient is taking multiple medications for the same condition, taking different medications for more than one condition, or taking more medications than is medically necessary. While there is no clear consensus on how many medications in any given situation constitute polypharmacy, it is clear that in an aging population, polypharmacy is quite common. In fact, some studies show that almost 50% of nursing home residents are potentially overmedicated for their medical conditions.
Nursing home residents can suffer significantly as a result of polypharmacy. The consequences of polypharmacy may include drug interactions, adverse drug events, and falls, all of which can result in hospitalization and even death. Polypharmacy also can cause older individuals becoming non-ambulatory, cognitively impaired, incontinent, and malnourished. Eliminating polypharmacy, however, can improve patient outcomes and the quality of care in a nursing facility.
There are a number of steps that nursing homes can take in order to eliminate polypharmacy. First, nursing staff can help improve the situation simply by being aware of the signs and symptoms of adverse drug events. Pharmacists also can prevent polypharmacy by reviewing residents’ medical records and recommending medication changes, reductions, and discontinuations as needed. Physicians, in turn, should consider and respond to these recommendations.
As this post illustrates, polypharmacy can have an extremely negative effect on nursing home residents, to the point of injuries or even death. When staff members of nursing homes neglect their duties, thus causing harm to you or a loved one, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit against the staff and facility who failed to properly do their jobs. If you or a loved one is in this situation, you should definitely contact an experienced Wisconsin elder abuse attorney at Boller & Vaughn today. We know how to protect your rights and potentially get compensation for any injuries that occurred. Nursing homes have a duty to protect their residents and ensure that they receive the appropriate level of care, including avoiding medication interactions and polypharmacy. When staff members fail to meet that duty, it is up to you to hold negligent Wisconsin nursing care facilities responsible for their actions. Call Boller & Vaughan today and see what assistance we can offer you and your family.
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We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.