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Know the Signs of Improper Nursing Home Restraints

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Cook County Nursing Home Restraint Injury LawyerNursing homes are required to provide a certain standard of care for residents under both state and federal law. The law prohibits nursing homes from using unreasonable physical, chemical, or emotional restraint methods simply because it is more convenient than providing real supportive care. Unfortunately, nursing homes are often understaffed and staff are often poorly trained or even abusive. It is essential to recognize signs of improper nursing home restraint methods so if your loved one is showing indications of improper restraint, you can take action right away. 

Physical Restraints 

Physical restraints may be the most common type of restraints because they are easy to use and readily available. Nursing home staff may restrain residents using legitimate restraint methods, such as ties, vests, or bedside rails, or makeshift restraints like belts, sheets, rope, or string. Physical restraints can cause serious injuries, including: 

  • Severe bruising

  • Fractured or broken bones

  • Skin burns from wearing against the restraint

  • Patients getting stuck between their bed and a guardrail and suffocating

  • Strangulation

Chemical Restraints

Medicine that may be legitimately prescribed to a patient can be overused to sedate a patient who demonstrates behaviors that are inconvenient to staff. Tranquilizers, pain medications, sleep aids, anti-psychotic drugs, and anti-anxiety medications may all be used to sedate residents improperly. Signs of chemical restraints include: 

  • Chronic sleepiness

  • Confusion

  • Inability to focus

  • Dizziness 

  • Uncharacteristic lack of memory 

Emotional Restraint

Nursing home staff may also resort to yelling, threats, and intimidation to keep residents compliant. Signs that your loved one may be subjected to emotional restraint include: 

  • Sudden and uncharacteristic fearfulness

  • Attempts to escape or requests to leave the facility 

  • Fear of certain employees

  • Depression

  • Anxiety 

  • Loss of will to live 

All three types of restraint can result in muscle degeneration, decreased bone density, bedsores, incontinence, and increased infections. Besides the immediate health problems these symptoms present, a terrible loss of quality of life can occur, shortening a patient’s overall lifespan. 

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

Your loved one has rights under the law that protect them from negligence and abuse. But proving cases of negligence or abuse on the part of nursing home staff can be difficult and time-consuming. At Schwartz Injury Law, our experienced Chicago nursing home injury attorneys will do the heavy lifting and investigate the cause of your loved one’s injuries or death. Call us now at 312-535-4625 to schedule a no-obligation consultation over the phone or at one of our convenient office locations. 

 

Source: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1225&ChapterID=21

https://www.aarp.org/home-garden/livable-communities/info-2001/the_1987_nursing_home_reform_act.html

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