Misuse of Restraints in Nursing Homes is Abusive

Use of restraints on nursing home residents is sometimes appropriate, but it must be done under a physician’s instructions. These instructions should specify what kinds of restraints may be used, how long they may be used, and under what circumstances.

It is never appropriate to use restraints on residents for a worker’s convenience or to punish a resident. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes are expressly forbidden from using restraints for any purpose other than protecting a resident’s physical safety.

One of the most common reasons for using restraints is to prevent residents from falling out of their beds. Rails are sometimes used for this reason, but some nursing homes completely immobilize residents by fastening them to the bed with straps or belts. This is clearly inappropriate when bed railings will suffice, and in most cases, even those are uncalled for.

Nursing home staff should exhaust all other possible solutions before resorting to the use of physical restraints. For example, a resident’s bed could be lowered or his or her mattress could be placed on the floor to lessen the danger of a fall. Alternately, workers could check on the resident more frequently or a bed alarm can be used to alert staff to a possible fall.

Sometimes restraints are used to protect the safety of residents besides the one being restrained. People with certain mental disorders are prone to hitting or attacking others, so restraints may be justified. Still, other, less extreme measures should be exhausted first. Can the problem be solved by separating certain residents, for example?

There are many long-term health problems associated with inappropriate use of restraints, including bedsores, muscle atrophy, and dehydration. To prevent these, nursing home staff may have to check on restrained residents more often than non-restrained ones. They must also allow them opportunities to exercise every few hours.

Your loved one has a right to be free from physical and mental nursing home abuse. Inappropriate use of restraints may violate both of these rights. If you suspect this or any other form of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or long term care facility anywhere in Ohio, please contact the Ohio nursing home abuse lawyers at Slater & Zurz LLP for a FREE evaluation of your case by calling 1-800-297-9191. You may also send a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk that is convenient for you.

To learn more about elderly and nursing home abuse in Ohio, please visit http://www.stopohionursinghomeabuse.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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One Comment on “Misuse of Restraints in Nursing Homes is Abusive”

  1. nursing informatics Says:

    Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.


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