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When Restraint Is Done To Harm, Not Protect

Dementia can cloud a person’s thoughts and make them do things they would not normally do. The trained nursing home staff understands this disease and takes its duty of care seriously. This means that it understands how to prevent injury due to restraint. It knows how to restrain a resident safely and kindly should that be necessary. 

As dedicated personal injury attorneys, we at Reddick Law work to protect nursing home residents from cruelty and injury. Call 877-930-2080 to arrange a free consultation. Speak with a nursing home injury attorney today.

Five Restraint Types That Are Illegal To Use

As a society, we have enacted laws to protect the vulnerable. Children and elderly people cannot protect themselves, so both state and federal laws are in place to make certain types of restraint illegal. Both types of restraint – physical (ropes, cords or other materials) and chemical (drugs) – can be overused, misused and abusive.

There are several things that nursing home staff is not allowed to do. These restraint types include:

  1. Tying a resident in a position as a form of punishment
  2. Tying a resident in a place (wheelchair or bed) so that there is less care required by staff
  3. Permanently restraining a resident
  4. Using restraint instead of providing necessary medical care or treatment
  5. Intentionally over-medicating a resident so that less care is required
There are some instances where a temporary restraint may be reasonable to best protect the resident. However, when restraint is used when not necessary, for extended periods of time or instead of safer methods, it’s time to investigate.

What To Do When A Restraint Causes Injury

When residents are physically restrained, any injuries sustained are generally easier to identify. These injuries could include:

  • Rope burns or ring-shaped bruising
  • Marks, sores, rashes or bruising on the waist (if in a wheelchair) or ankles and wrists (if in a bed)
  • Muscle atrophy from nonuse
  • Hand marks on the arms
  • Bedsores due to lying or sitting in the same position for hours or days

Being restrained for long periods of time can cause significant psychological distress, digestive and elimination issues and even death.

Unfortunately, some staff members are not trained at all as to correct restraint technique. Some facilities are woefully understaffed in an effort to keep profits high for the facility owners. And then there are staff members who, sadly, either do not care or intentionally cause injury. Any time you see signs of maltreatment or elder neglect, it’s time to speak with a personal injury attorney.

Understand Your Next Steps In A Free Consultation

No one wants to think about someone intentionally hurting a vulnerable adult. But, it does happen. We are here to stop the harm, hold the responsible party accountable and pursue the compensation your family needs and deserves after a serious incident. Call 877-930-2080 or connect with us via our website contact form. With offices in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Colorado and New Mexico, we help families nationwide. We have obtained over $1 billion in compensation for our clients.