I’ve posted before about how my dad became a zombie on the cocktail of medications the nursing home gave him. It’s common practice to sedate patients so they don’t become problematic for staff members. The drugs that the nursing home gave to Dad didn’t stop him from wandering about, they just left him without any ability to show emotions.
The nursing home my mom is in right now doesn’t seem to be overmedicating. In fact, Mom has had trouble getting the medications she is supposed to be taking on time. Last night, she never got her pain meds (just Tylenol PM) at all, despite the fact that she was recovering from a procedure on the veins in her leg.
Her roommate has a host of issues, both mental (bipolar) and physical (bulging disk in back.) She told my mom, in her permanently slurred speech, “You should ask for narcotics, like Percocet or Morphine. You won’t get hooked.”
Mom is managing her pain fine with Tylenol PM, and from the looks of her roommate, I’d say she’s indeed hooked. She sleeps most of the day, and even when she’s awake, she’s barely able to maintain a conversation. She has this permanent “doped up” expression on her face. It’s clear she’s trying to escape from her pain, and not just the physical kind.
And really, who can blame the elderly for wanting to escape into a drug-induced haze when they find themselves living in a nursing home?