Three Types of Restraints Used Against Elders in Kentucky Nursing Homes

You want your elderly relative to be as comfortable as possible in a nursing home. So it may shock you to learn that many caregivers are making your family member a little too comfortable—tucking them in too tightly, trapping them in a chair, or keeping them permanently sedated. 

The use of nursing home restraints is a common problem in Kentucky nursing homes. While opinions differ on what can be used as a restraint, it is generally true that anything that restricts a resident’s independence or movement may be called a restraint. 

The most common types of restraints used in nursing homes include:

  • Bed rails. Patients with limited mobility may be unable to get out of bed if the rails are deliberately raised. This is considered an easy way to control a “difficult” patient, or as an alternative to providing proper treatment or activities for rehabilitation. These patients are likely to suffer falling injuries as they attempt to climb over the rail. 
  • Belts and cuffs. These restraints are meant to beused to calm patients if they pose a physical risk to themselves or others. They are usually attached to the patient’s wrists, legs, or across the waist, to secure them into a bed or chair. Since these restraints may cause chafing, pressure sores, or circulation problems, they must not be left on for prolonged periods—however, some nursing home employees will use these restraints as a means to punish uncooperative residents.
  • Chemical restraints. Also known as overmedication or off-label dosing, a chemical restraint is a dosage of medication, such as anti-psychotics or sedatives, used to keep a patient tranquil. While these restraints are often used to stop a patient’s undesirable behavior, it has also been used for staff convenience—especially if there are not enough caretakers to attend each patient.

Restraints can cause a number of side effects, including isolation, chronic constipation, incontinence, emotional disturbance, inability to walk, or even wrongful death. If your loved one has suffered any type of controlling behavior, you should consider filing a Louisville nursing home abuse lawsuit as soon as possible. 

For aFREE, one-on-one consultation on your case, call Gray and White today at (800) 634-8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law