While you may not expect it necessarily, substance abuse in nursing homes is as prevalent as it is in any other demographic.
Many people do not know that nursing homes are not restricted to only elderly individuals. There is a range of ages, physical and mental needs, interests, etc. in nursing homes. There have been reports of heroin overdoses in nursing homes, with victims ranging in age from 33 to 60 years old. Scary, yes. But it should not be shocking.
With different ages of people comes different health care needs. Not every person is the same. Nursing home residents are vulnerable, away from friends and family and susceptible to pressure. They may not be able to stand up to physical or emotional stressors that lead to substance abuse. Also, many elderly people are on prescribed medications that must be administered properly.
The following are ways that nursing homes can better equip themselves to stop substance abuse:
- Hire – and train – staff members that have clean criminal records and have no issues with substance abuse themselves
- Train staff to watch for the signs of substance abuse and make sure they report any incidents
- Monitor prescription drugs on-site and keep records to make sure drugs are not being abused
- Educate and encourage nursing home residents to use medication properly and get help if they have questions about how to take drugs
- In some circumstances, on-site substance abuse programs may be necessary to curb the issues
Many lawmakers across the country are taking steps and working tirelessly to address these problems of substance abuse in nursing homes. For many, this is a major issue. Residents in these homes, whether they’re elderly or not, are entitled to the same rights to quality care and a happy experience as the rest of society.
If your loved one has experienced or witnessed substance abuse in their nursing home, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer today.