It is hard to leave someone close to you in a nursing home and let others take of care of that person. How can you be sure that he will be well taken care of? Is there a way to ensure that they are giving him the proper medicines? If so, is it given regularly?
Yes, there are ways to handle nursing home medication problems. Here they are:
- Make surprise visits to the nursing home. Do this in different hours each day. Just drop by anytime and check the medication schedule. Record the type and dosage of your relative or friend, including his condition that day. Try to befriend the helpers, volunteers and nurses. Chatting with them whenever you visit helps you keep track of the condition of the patient and the patient’s habits.
- Talk to your loved one about his medications. It is possible that the medication list is not being followed to the dot. Double check with the patient. Ask him about the medicines he takes, what they look like, how many times in a day he intakes them and when does he intake them. Find out if he feels funny or different after taking each of his medicines.
- Consult the patient’s regular doctor. Show him the medication list you acquired from the nursing home. Ask him if the dosage, type and kind of medications are right for the patient. Inquire about possible side effects and if there are any, ask him what medicines should be used as replacement. Also, check with him if all the medications are necessary, including the vitamins and sleeping pills.
- Ensure that the drugs do not have conflicting effect with each other. There are drugs that conflict with Alzheimer’s treatment, which could speed up the progress of the said disease.
- For any clarifications on the patient’s medication, contact the nurses first. If they cannot explain why these procedures and medications are such, ask for the head nurse. Or talk to the resident doctor if you have questions and demands because such problems may just be a negligence of one staff. Still, if no proper actions were taken, speak to the nursing home administrator. Check up on the nursing home’s history for any issues on medication problems. There might be the same situation as yours in the past. And if such situation exists, bring it to the administrator’s attention. If you are uncertain of the staff’s explanations, ask a friend of yours for advice. But you can also transfer your loved one to a different and a more reputable nursing home if you think you really need to.
- For your peace of mind and the patient’s safety, have your loved one undergo blood test. If the result is questionable, you can sue the nursing home. Contact your attorney or proceed directly to the Department of Health. Moreover, contact television and radio reporters so that the public can be alerted of the nursing home’s doings.
You can have your loved one checked up at least twice a year by his regular doctor other than the resident doctor just to be sure.