Three elderly Alzheimer’s patients are believed to have died after being injected with psychotropic drugs by nursing home staff trying to keep them quiet. The state’s attorney general revealed the deaths after announcing the arrests of a nurse, a physician and a pharmacist from a nursing facility. The attorney general was quoted as saying, “[t]hese people maliciously violated the trust of their patients, by holding them down and forcibly administering psychotropic medications if they dared to question their care.” The director of nursing at the facility ordered that Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients be given high doses of psychotropic medications to make them easier to control. She held down and forcibly gave injections to patients who argued with her or were noisy and disruptive. Several of the patients involved were alleged to have suffered medical complications from the injections including three wrongful deaths and one personal injury.
After an ombudsman reported that a patient had been forcibly injected a subsequent investigation was conducted. This investigation determined that 22 patients had been given high doses of psychotropic drugs to control and quiet them for the convenience of staff members. The three arrested nursing home workers are facing charges that range from elder abuse to assault with a deadly weapon. All three workers face up to 11 years in prison if eventually convicted. This outrageous elderly abuse case highlights the importance of the work of ombudsmen. To read more about these wrongful deaths, please click here.