Physical or Chemical Restraints

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in West Tennessee: Violating Residents’ Rights with Physical or Chemical Restraints

Compassionate advocates for injured clients’ rights in Memphis and Jackson nursing home abuse cases, and beyond

Elderly nursing home residents who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can be prone to wandering off. They can also become belligerent and combative towards staff. Nursing homes have used both physical and chemical restraints to manage the behavior of difficult residents, but unless they are used in strict accordance with federal and state law, physical and chemical restraints can be abusive, cause injury and harm and violate the rights of the resident.

At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we understand the frustration our clients feel when they discover that their loved one has been subject to physical or chemical restraints that caused injury. Our dedicated nursing home abuse lawyers in Jackson and Memphis have protected the rights of residents in facilities throughout West Tennessee. We will investigate the situation and seek justice on behalf of your loved one.

Federal law prohibits the use of restraints for nursing home patients for discipline or convenience

The Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 assures that nursing home residents shall be free from physical or chemical restraints imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience. Restraints may be imposed for the following purposes:

  1. To ensure the physical safety of the resident or other residents, and
  2. Only upon the written order of a physician that specifies the duration and the circumstances under which the restraints may be uses. There is, however, an exception for emergency situations when a written doctor’s order cannot be reasonably obtained.

There are two types of restraints that can be used in a case of nursing home abuse. They include:

  • Physical restraints. Anything from tucking sheets in too tightly around the resident, strapping them in to their bed or wheelchair, raising bedside rails so they cannot get out of bed, and/or using straps or ties to keep a resident from being able to get out of a chair can be considered abusive or neglectful.
  • Chemical restraints. Using antipsychotic medications, sedatives, anxiety medications and any other drug that might be used to discipline a resident or control their behavior but is not required to treat any medical symptoms is an abuse of powers by the staff.

Injuries caused by the use of restraints in nursing homes

Using physical restraints to discipline or control the behavior of an elderly person is abuse and it violates their human rights, but it can also cause injury or harm to the person including:

  • Bruising
  • Bedsores
  • Loss of strength and muscle tone
  • Decreased mobility
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Constipation
  • Incontinence
  • Loss of independence

Adverse effects of chemical restrains in nursing home residents

The over use of drugs for the purpose of chemical restraint can have many adverse effects on nursing home residents including:

  • Agitation
  • Memory impairment
  • Unstable gait
  • Sedation
  • Functional decline
  • Increased risk of falls
  • Difficulty coordinating movements
  • Withdrawal symptoms

When you are visiting your loved one in a nursing home and you notice that they have unexplained bruises on their arms wrists or ankles, they appear to be more groggy or lethargic than usual, or if you notice other residents who appear to be physically or chemically restrained, bring it to the attention of the administrator immediately. If your loved one has suffered an injury and you want to take legal action, our nursing home negligence attorneys can help you. At Bailey & Greer, we have experience investigating allegations of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in Memphis, Jackson and throughout West Tennessee. We will find out who is responsible and get the justice your loved one deserves.

Trusted Memphis nursing home abuse lawyers ready to consult with you today

When you discover that your loved one has been abused or neglected through the use of physical or chemical restraints in a nursing home, the smart move is to contact an attorney right away. At the law office of Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our compassionate nursing home abuse attorneys fight for the rights of our elders in Jackson, Memphis and throughout West Tennessee. You may call us at 877-819-4144 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our contact form.