Nursing Home Abuse And Restraint Use In North Carolina

In some cases, nursing home restraints use can be beneficial to the elder's safety and care. However, using restraints in other situations can be handled abusively. If you have a loved one in an assisted living, elder care, or nursing home living situation, it is very important that you understand when restraint use is called for and when it is not.

There are a variety of types of restraints. A restraint can be obvious, such as arm or leg straps to keep the patient from moving and harming themselves. Restraints can also be more subtle, however, such as tightly tucked sheets or lap pillows. Other types of nursing home restraints include hand mitts, wheelchair safety bars, bed railings, and waist belts. Chemical restraints can also be used - medications that sedate patients.

Many times restraints are used properly by staff to keep patients safe or to keep patients from harming themselves or staff members. A bed rail may keep a patients from falling out of bed, while a wheelchair belt might help a patient with dementia who cannot walk from trying to rise from his chair. However, other times, restraints may be used by a negligent staff who do not want to be bothered by the needs of the elders in their care. Patients who want to move may be forced to stay in bed, while patients with behavioral problems could be put into a near-comatose state.

In many cases, restraints are used instead of other alternatives, such as attentive staff and nurses, activity programs, regularly scheduled bathroom visits, body alarms and other safety devices, and one-on-one counseling.

The improper use of restraints can lead to stiff joints, loss of muscle mass, depression, agitation, social withdrawal, and bedsores. If you think a loved one in a nursing home is being restrained inappropriately, call our nursing home abuse lawyers. We provide no-cost case evaluations and can help you understand the rights of nursing home residents in North Carolina. Call 877-BRENT-ADAMS or submit an electronic request.