When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you have every right to expect that the nursing home’s staff will look after their well-being. Unfortunately, staffers do not always provide the level of care they are required to — which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse if you believe your loved one is being harmed by their caregivers. One common type of abusive behavior that occurs in nursing homes is using restraints on residents without their consent or the consent of their loved ones.
While restraints are sometimes necessary to prevent a resident from harming themselves, overuse of restraints on non-consenting residents is abusive. If your loved one has sustained restraint-related injuries, your family deserves justice, which you may be able to secure through legal action. Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys at The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C. today to discuss your case during a free, no-risk consultation.
Types of Restraints Used in Nursing Homes
Restraints employed by nursing homes can be divided into two major categories: physical and chemical. Use of physical and chemical restraints could be considered a form of abuse in certain situations, especially when overworked and under-trained nursing home staff should have safer alternatives at their disposal to prevent residents from harming themselves or others.
As their name suggests, physical restraints are those which prevent an individual from moving by physical means. They come in a variety of forms, including:
· Wrist/arm restraints
· Leg restraints
· Taut sheets
· Bed rails
· Wheelchair belts
· Makeshift restraints such as a belt or a cord
Nursing home staff may also employ other methods to physically restrain residents. For instance, if a resident is wheelchair-bound, staff might back the wheelchair up against a wall or other barrier to prevent them from moving freely. This can cause serious harm to residents who already suffer from limited mobility.
Nursing home staff can also restrain residents by chemical means, such as by administering sedatives and other drugs. In some cases, nursing home staff may overuse sedative drugs because they’re tired of dealing with a certain resident. Sedatives may include:
· Anti-seizure medications
· Antipsychotic drugs
· Other potent sedatives
Medications of any kind should only be administered for their prescribed purpose. Any other use could constitute abuse, as these medications are typically only meant to treat mental illnesses, not to be used as chemical restraints.
When Is Use of Restraints Considered Abuse?
There are a variety of circumstances in which the use of physical and/or chemical restraints may rise to the level of abuse, such as when they are used:
· To punish a resident
· To maintain control over a resident
· In lieu of providing proper care
· As an alternative to an activity or treatment
When nursing home staff members overuse restraints or use them in a way that they are not intended to be used, that constitutes a violation of a resident’s rights. The nursing home abuse attorneys at The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C. understand the law and are familiar with all applicable regulations regarding the use of restraints, and are ready to evaluate your case to determine whether you may be able to take legal action against the nursing home facility.
Contact A Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer Today
If your loved one has sustained injuries as a result of being physically or chemically restrained, or if you suspect that nursing home staff may be using restraints in an illegal manner, reach out to a dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer in Virginia Beach today. At The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., we have the knowledge and resources to help you get justice on your loved one’s behalf. Contact us today for a free case review.