Is the use of restraints in nursing homes considered negligence?

You may have a beloved member of your family in a Georgia nursing home. When elderly relatives can no longer take care of themselves, professional care is the best course of action. However, if you have heard about restraints being used in the nursing home, you have cause to worry and question that practice.

Why are restraints used against nursing home patients?

Many nursing home patients are confused as a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They often don’t understand why aides poke and prod at them or take them somewhere. While it’s often necessary for older people in nursing homes to have various checkups or exams, they lack the ability to understand why they happen. If they struggle against nursing home staff, they may end up being restrained. However, the use of restraints in this environment is believed to be a sign of nursing home negligence.

Is the use of restraints in nursing homes unethical?

There are strict laws and regulations in place regarding restraints in nursing homes. Per state and federal law, they must be authorized in writing by a doctor, applied by someone qualified and used only for a short period of time. Additionally, it’s believed that there are less restrictive ways to keep a nursing home patient safe. If the use of restraints isn’t evaluated by a doctor at least every 24 hours, then it can be considered nursing home negligence.

Using restraints to keep nursing home patients immobile carries ethical implications as well. It also has the opposite effect as it doesn’t keep patients safe. According to a study from 2009 in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the use of restraints or medical restraints such as antipsychotics is more likely to have adverse consequences. The study revealed that nursing home patients were more likely to suffer falls, bedsores, infections, mental health issues, physical degeneration, more aggressive behavior and death when restraints were used on them.

An attorney might be able to help you if you believe a loved one in a nursing home has suffered from the use of restraints. You will get assistance in starting your lawsuit so you can fight back.