Personal Injury Lawyer
Nursing home residents have various conditions that may dictate many levels of care. Since a patient’s health and safety are the primary concerns, facilities must handle things as they see fit. There may come a time where a patient wanders or falls. In these situations, is the use of restraints allowed? Physically or chemically restraining a resident may become a slippery slope for nursing home administrators. Find out what more about how the policies may vary and what conditions may necessitate it.
What Necessitates Restraints?
Patients dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s may quickly become unaware of their surroundings. When periods of lucidity are fleeting, a person may lose a sense of their safety. This may drive them to try to leave the nursing home facility — a move that may result in their injury. Some nursing homes have lockdown wards for patients dealing with these types of conditions. Restraints may be used to keep them further confined to their rooms. If the facility believes it is in the patient’s best interest, they may use these methods, but only sparingly. A patient cannot be tied down to their bed or a chair for hours at a time.
What Kind of Restraints Can a Nursing Home Use?
A nursing home may use physical restraints, such as a vest or wrist straps to secure a patient to their bed for a short period. In some cases, nursing home staff may use medication to keep the patient calm and sedated rather than using physical restraint systems. Nursing homes with lockdown areas may keep patients in their rooms by securing doors or using alarms to indicate if someone has wandered away.
A nursing home cannot forcefully and physically restrain a patient without their or their guardian’s consent. This does not mean the guardian will get a phone call every time an incident occurs. It usually means upon admission, the guardian is asked to permit the staff to restrain the patient under limited conditions. This permission may be revoked at any time, especially if the guardian suspects that the methods used are unnecessary or not used properly.
If a loved one has been denied their ability to be free of restraints, a lawyer, like a nursing home abuse lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC, in your area may be able to help. It should not be a practice used for anything other than resident safety, and even then it should be used sparingly.