CA Atty General: Director Drugged Elderly Residents

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Every year, thousands of elderly Americans are abused in their own homes and even in the facilities responsible for their care.

Many videotapes has surfaced of seniors being abused in nursing homes from physical assault. But some are facing abuse that is harder to detect.

Many nursing homes do a good job making sure residents are comfortable and well taken care of. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse or neglect takes place all too often.

For example, medications may not be given on a timely basis, and in some cases, over medicating happens on purpose.

Some residents at a California nursing home were chemically restrained with a powerful anti-psychotic drug. Three of them died.

When Phyllis Peters couldn't wake her normally feisty 97-year-old mother Fannie Mae Brinkley, she blamed it on aging.

"I just thought it was old age," she said. "I'd say I can't get my mom awake. She just won't arouse. She's lethargic."

Peters had no idea that her mother had been given a powerful anti-seizure drug that allegedly killed her.

"I am absolutely convinced she would of lived to be 100. Absolutely," Peters exclaimed through her tears.

Prosecutors claim nursing home director Gwen Hughes chemically restrained residents who annoyed her.

According to a report from the California Attorney General, Hughes ordered one patient drugged because she glared at her. Another was given high doses of an anti-psychotic drug for throwing a carton of milk. Several residents became severely malnourished and were left in bed, drooling and emaciated.

"Elderly people were actually held down, restrained against their will and in other cases given excessive amounts of medicine to keep them quiet, to manage them," said Edmund Brown, California Attorney General.

Hughes had been fired from a previous nursing home for over-drugging residents.

Sadly, experts say over-drugging nursing home patients happen all too often, and the number of residents being given these drugs is growing nationally.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that unnecessary anti-psychotics kill 15,000 nursing home patients like Brinkley every year.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.