At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, we deplore the use of physical restraints for nonmedical reasons in nursing homes, and have dedicated ourselves to fighting against such instances of nursing home neglect. Not only is the use of physical restraints in nursing homes a violation of an individual’s fundamental rights, but it is also detrimental to his or her physical and mental well-being. Some common examples of include using straps to tether patients at the waist or legs, the use of wrist and ankle cuffs, high bedrails kept up at all times to prevent movement, and even tucking in the bed sheets excessively tight.
Although caregivers often argue that the use of physical restraints promotes the safety of the individual and other resident, studies have shown that over time, the use of restraints does not actually have an effect on lowering the risk of falls in elderly adults. Additional studies have found that homes that do not use physical restraints do not actually have to employ more staff members, indicating that physical restraints to not result in any lessened burden of care on the staff. Under these circumstances, it becomes obvious that many caregivers in nursing homes use physical restraints primarily to pacify their residents, making them easier to handle, even though such actions are medically uncalled for. Nursing homes that lack required numbers of staff may employ restraints in this way, so that fewer caregivers are required to supervise and assist residents. Furthermore, the use of physical restraints actually hinders the chance of your loved one regaining physical mobility. Instead, physical restraints increase patient dependency upon caregivers for mobility and to carry out actions of everyday living.
The multitude of health problems that are linked to the usage of physical restraints make it clear that the few benefits of using physical restraints are completely outweighed by the harm that they incur. Because physical restraints inhibit the free movement of elderly adults, they are often forced to remain completely stationary for extended periods of time, until caregivers have time to provide them with assistance in moving or repositioning. These extended periods of time in which the patient is unable to move facilitate the formation of pressure sores. The use of physical restraints can also lead to incontinence and constipation.
The increased dependency that inevitably accompanies the physical ailments discussed above also has profound psychological repercussions. As elderly adults begin to lose the ability to care for themselves, many often feel ashamed and suffer a loss of dignity. This may lead to depression, isolation, and agitation, an overall lowering of the quality of life.
If your loved one is being physically restrained, there is a high chance that the reason for his or her restraint is neither legally sound nor ethically acceptable. Due to the seriousness of the physical and emotional consequences of being physically restrained, it is critical that you contact us immediately so that our team of experts can help you improve the situation of your loved one and obtain the rights to which he or she is entitled.