Elderly Lives Matter®

Chemical Restraints Unnecessarily Used on Seniors

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2019 | Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Caring for seniors is a special opportunity that is not suitable for everyone. Sometimes, caregivers cannot rise to the occasion.

In such cases, some caregivers may utilize unscrupulous tactics, such as unnecessary chemical restraints. There are a few important things to understand about this action.

Chemical restraints

The administration of drugs for restraint, for convenient or disciplinary reasons, is the use of chemical restraints. It is important to fully understand what this term means and what it excludes. In short, to determine the use of chemical restraints, one must look at the underlying reason for the application.

Proper use

Medical drugs help people. When caregivers use drugs to protect senior patients or residents, or to treat an illness, they put the drugs to proper use. In such cases, the substances do not count as chemical restraints, which is acceptable, as long as the drugs are commonly administered for such use or prescribed to the party receiving them.


The administration of drugs crosses into chemical restraint when the use does not benefit the receiving party, but rather makes things easier or more convenient for the caregiver administering the drug. Sadly, this is a more common case than should be occurring in various care facilities. In some cases, caregivers may feel overwhelmed by their patient load and look for assistance. However, administering the drug for “a break” falls into the category of neglect. It also proves to be a dangerous tactic, considering that the recipient may have a negative reaction. For this reason, such use of drugs is intolerable. Facilities have protocols in place to try to decrease or eliminate such instances.

If you suspect the unnecessary use of chemical restraints, you have a right to bring attention to it and seek a resolution. Consider consulting with an attorney to determine your best course of action.

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