Types of Nursing Home Restraints: Which Ones Are Used, and Are They Safe?

Restraints are anything that is intended to limit a person’s mobility due to different reasons. As we age, we begin to face health challenges on a physical and mental level, making it almost impossible to care for ourselves and also putting us in danger of falling, getting lost or having serious accidents. Sometimes, restraints are necessary. Sometimes, they’re excessive, cruel, and completely unneeded.

Written Consent

Nursing homes use restraints to control behavior or mobility when it comes to high risk patients. The law explicitly states that restraints should only be used in certain cases, and after written consent is provided by the family of the individual being restrained.

Here are some of the common restraint methods in use today:

  • Chemical Restraints – Nursing homes use certain drugs to help restrain disoriented or agitated residents. These medications pacify aggressive behavior, making it easy to control such individuals. Some of the drugs used include Versed, Haldol and Ativan.
  • Cuffs and Belts – These can be placed around ankles, wrists and other movable body parts to keep a person in one place. They are also attached to the base of the bed, making it virtually impossible to remove them. These types of restraints may produce sores, welts and bruises if used frequently and for an extended amount of time.
  • Chairs – Certain types of chairs make it virtually impossible for people to get up. One such example is the “Geri chair” that comes fitted with a tray which pins the patient on the chair. These types of chairs may lead to falls as patients try to get out of them.
  • Bed Rails – These are usually placed on either side of the bed, making it difficult for patients to climb out of bed. While these may help elderly people from falling out of bed, they may be misused by staff who simply want to restrain nursing home individuals due to laziness or even cruelty.

Restraints are Considered Nursing Home Abuse

Restraining the elderly is both unethical and illegal in some cases. If you suspect that your loved one is being unjustifiably restrained, you should carry out your own investigation to determine if your claims or suspicions are valid. Our law firm has been handling cases of nursing home abuse for nearly 30 years in Dallas. Let us help you. By seeking legal help, you’ll be able to stop these abusive nursing homes from committing future abuse.