According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), polypharmacy is the concurrent use of multiple medications to treat a single disease or illness or the consistent and simultaneous use of various medications by a single patient to treat multiple diseases and illnesses. It is common with the older population and can result in adverse reactions and outcomes due to their declining health. As opponents of polypharmacy, we believe that it is medical malpractice, and in most cases, unnecessary and questionable. A Tucson polypharmacy lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will be the first to tell you that polypharmacy is drug misuse and depending on the details, a form of elderly abuse. So, if you live in Tucson, have a loved one in a nursing home, and are concerned about their medication, give us a call to discuss your case with a member of our responsive team.
Signs of Polypharmacy in the Elderly
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Polypharmacy in your loved one can save their lives. The possible warning signs of overmedication in the elderly include:
- Fatigue. Most elderly people do not engage in physical or mental activities that result in exhaustion. So, if you notice that your loved one is always tired, constantly out of breath, and has low energy levels, you may be dealing with overmedication.
- Changes in sleep patterns. If your loved one feels groggy or drugged up during the day while finding it difficult to sleep at night, you may need to consider reexamining their prescribed medication.
- Bring accident-prone. Polypharmacy can cause slip, trip, and fall accidents since the person is in an inebriated state. Recurring falls, injuries, and accidents in the elderly are very concerning since a fracture can lead to intense pain, disability, and even death.
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain is a possible sign of polypharmacy in the elderly. If there have been no recent changes to your loved one’s diet or exercise routine and you notice fluctuations in their weight, you should visit the doctor immediately to have their medication analyzed.
- Lack of personal hygiene. Sometimes, due to having low energy levels, your loved one may have a sudden disinterest in taking care of themselves. This may include refusing to take showers or baths, not brushing their teeth, not wearing deodorant, and finding it difficult to keep up with routine hygiene practices.
Who Is at Risk?
Per statistics by Health Research Funding, the average senior between the ages of 65 and 69 takes 14 prescribed medication per day. This data is particularly alarming since various research have shown that polypharmacy is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and responsible for 28 percent of emergency hospital admissions.
Another NCBI study asserts that while polypharmacy can occur at any age, it is most common with persons 65 years of age and older. It goes on to show that 39.7 percent of patients in nursing homes are overmedicated due to negligence on the part of the doctors and lack of supervision by the administrators.
How Can a Polypharmacy Lawyer Help You?
As already established, a Tucson polypharmacy lawyer from Pintas & Mullins holds the viewpoint that polypharmacy is a form of elder abuse. As such, the negligent parties must be held accountable. If you take advantage of our free consultation, we will provide legal counsel and help you weigh your legal options if you decide to take legal action against the negligent parties. When you hire us, we can:
- Investigate the details of your claim to determine polypharmacy
- Determine liability by Investigating all the parties involved, including the prescribing doctors and pharmacists
- File a claim against the negligent parties and their insurers
- Seek awards for loved one’s losses, including pain and suffering and abuse
We can also teach you proper medication management to help minimize polypharmacy. These steps include:
- Transparency. This is the most crucial step in preventing drug errors and overmedication. You must inform every doctor involved in your loved one’s treatment of every medication and supplement they take, be it prescribed or not.
- Communication. If you feel a drug does not serve any purpose or has serious side effects, have a conversation with your doctor about cutting it out from your loved one’s list of medications.
- Create a list. Collect every pill container and make a detailed drug list of every medication they take. This document must include the name of the medication, recommended dosage, instructions, frequency, timing, and warnings. Ensure that this list is updated once a drug is added or removed.
- Make a list of doctors. Have on hand the personal information of all the doctors involved in your loved one’s treatment. This list must include their names, area of expertise, contact information, office information, and other relevant details. Make this list accessible to your loved one’s caregiver in case there is an emergency.
For more information about how we can help your loved one recover damages, call us now to discuss your case with a member of our team.
For a free legal consultation with an polypharmacy lawyer serving Tucson, call (800) 842-6336
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm: The Personal Injury Firm You Can Trust
As a personal injury law firm that has been on a mission of fighting and protecting the rights of senior citizens, we understand the tough situation you are in. This is why we would love to provide our services to help your loved one get the justice they deserve. When you hire us, you would never have to worry about the money to finance your litigation. We operate on a contingency basis and would charge you nothing out of pocket until we win the call. So, go on and hire a Tucson polypharmacy lawyer from Pintas & Mullins today by calling us.