OpEdNews.com had an interesting column last week about the new generation of nursing home abuse and elder abuse – prescription drug theft by nurses and nursing home staffers. Prescription drug theft isn’t just an act of stealing from an elderly person in your care, it is a threat to their health. Many senior citizens – and especially those senior citizens in assisted living or adult care facilities – depend on their medication to keep them healthy, to keep them pain-free, and to keep up their quality of life and enjoyment of life.
If a nurse or nursing home staffer is regularly stealing their prescription drugs for illegal uses, your loved one could be suffering and could even be dying. These incidents can go on for weeks, months, or even years as your loved one complains of pain an as your doctor wonders why your loved one’s blood pressure medicine has stopped being effective.
How bad is the problem of nurses stealing presciption drugs from the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals? One reports says that more than one of every one hundred nurses in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union Counties, South Carolina have been disciplined for drug-related offenses, including stealing prescription painkillers from nursing homes, doctor’s offices and hospitals.
The most frightening aspect of these prescription drug thefts is that many of the elderly people that they are stealing from suffer from memory loss, Alzheimer’s Disease, or dementia. These senior patients often have no idea that they are missing their daily doses of pain medication and other drugs – even if they are in constant agony.
The best way to prevent this from happening to your loved one in a nursing home? Investigate the situation if something doesn’t feel right, and get to known your nursing home nurses and staffers.