Restraints can deprive patients of their dignity and independence. On top of the emotional trauma of being restrained, patients often develop physical injuries from restraints, such as muscular atrophy from lack of movement.
Chemical restraints and sedatives may have serious side effects — especially if they interact with a patient's medications, leading to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. Overdosing is also a concern.
Because of these risks, restraints should only be used when absolutely necessary for medical reasons, and only when no other alternatives will keep the patient safe. Restraints should never serve as a form of punishment. Nor should they be used simply for convenience.
Improper use of restraints in nursing homes isn't just an ethical issue. It's also a legal one.
At Ford, Dean & Rotundo, P.A., we have handled many elder abuse and neglect cases involving restraints. Our lawyers understand how to pursue accountability in these inexcusable situations.
What Exactly Are Restraints?
Restraints are any device or drug used to restrict patients' movements, including:
- Arm straps
- Lap trays
- Other drugs used for sedation
Sometimes, patients become agitated and act out because they've been mistreated. The facilities that are supposed to take care of them instead perpetuate the wrongdoing by restraining them, leading to a cycle of abuse. It's a horrifying situation for anyone to confront — much less a vulnerable elder whose well-being is already compromised.
When Nursing Homes And Care Facilities Go Too Far
Unfortunately, far too often, nursing homes and care facilities use restraints unnecessarily. They may not have enough staff to properly manage patients. They might not be adequately trained on how to care for patients with dementia, Alzheimer's or other cognitive problems. They may end up using restraints as a substitute for monitoring patients.
Our attorneys can help put a stop to the abuse. If you suspect that a loved one is being improperly restrained, contact our firm in the Miami area at 305-670-2000 for a free consultation. We handle cases across Florida.