Residents in nursing homes often need around the clock care. While those in charge of care may face certain challenges, this never means they can violate the residents’ rights. For example, when taking care of residents with dementia or other forms of memory loss, the resident can become confused or agitated. Acting out verbally and physically are both situations the staff may have to deal with. However, this doesn’t allow the staff to cause any harm to the resident. Sometimes, some nursing homes resort to using restrains to stay in control of the resident. While there may be some situations where retrains may be used to protect the resident from harm, there are many ways that a nursing home can use restraints that are in violation of the resident’s rights.
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s treatment in a nursing home, seek help immediately. Your loved one deserves to be in a safe environment where they’re getting the care they need. Then, you can start seeking your legal options with a lawyer at your side.
Restraint Laws in Kentucky
Being informed of your loved one’s rights as a Kentucky citizen will provide insight into restraint use and what happened when the nursing home used them on your loved one. There are both federal and state laws that protect nursing home residents. In Kentucky, nursing home residents can refer to their Resident Rights to learn about what laws protect them.
In Kentucky, residents have rights against mental and physical abuse. They’re also free from any forms of restraint, which includes chemical and physical. While chemical restraints could be medication that makes residents more out of it and easier to control, physical restraints will keep a resident locked to their bed or chair and prevent them from moving.
It is important to note that there are special circumstances where a nursing home can use restrains. If there is an emergency or a physician gives a written justification of using restraints for a defined and limited time, which will also be in the resident’s medical record. There could be situations where the restraints provide safety to the resident or a caregiver, but nursing homes that are not careful about how they determine this could be committing nursing home abuse and injure their resident.
When our lawyer is looking into your case, they will carefully evaluate the circumstances that nursing home notes that justified the use of restraints. If they violated your loved one’s rights, we’ll hold them accountable for their actions.
While knowing restraint rights can give you insight into the situations where these devices may be used, you should also know that improper restraint use can cause harm to your loved one.
The Dangers of Improper Restraint Use
Restraints are supposed to be a safety measure used in extreme circumstances and are never meant to be a form of control or punishment. When they are used incorrectly, the resident may suffer from injuries that range from painful to life-threatening.
Lacerations and bruising are common injuries that may occur. If residents are left unsupervised for too long, the restrains can cause death. Major causes of death from restraints include strangulation, chest compression, or their head was dangling facing down.
Nursing homes that are using restrains need to make sure the resident is supervised. It’s likely the resident may try to get out of the restraints or move around. There was one circumstance where a woman had an abdominal restraint placed correctly on her. She slipped through it until her neck was under the restraint and it caused strangulation.
There may be another facet of restraint use you hadn’t thought of before—how it affects your loved one mentally and socially. While there are physical dangers with restraints, your loved one may also lose self-esteem and a sense of dignity when their autonomy is taken away. Restraints could also prevent them from socially engaging with other residents, so the restraints can hinder their relationships with others in their home. This is why it’s so vital for restraints to be used as a last resort in special circumstances.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured Because of Restraints?
Noticing restraint injuries on your loved one can bring up a mixture of emotions—anger, sadness, and frustration. The best thing you can do to protect your loved one’s health is to get them somewhere safe and then contact a lawyer to hold the nursing home accountable for their actions.
The Law Office of Todd W. Burris will stand up for your loved one’s rights and make sure the nursing home staff understands their actions were unacceptable and cannot happen again. Get in touch with our office today to begin your case.