Unlawful Restraint in Nursing Homes
Restraining nursing home patients or residents of a long term care assisted or independent living facility occurs more frequently than you may realize. Often, using restraints is necessary for the patient’s or resident’s own good. For example, restraints are often used to prevent a patient from falling out of their hospital bed. The use of restraints also has an ethical purpose if the resident or patient poses a real and immediate physical threat to themselves or staff members. However, confining a resident to his or her room against their will, unnecessary use of restraints, and excessive use of force to hold a resident down happens all the time. These abusive acts can cause serious harm—physically, emotionally, and psychologically—and the nursing home facility should be held accountable for the damages caused to your elderly loved one.
Belts, Straps, Rope, and Other Restraints
Staff members and nurses may use straps or other types of restraints to hold patients down in bed for various reasons. According to a recent study, 51 percent of cases that restraints were used, the purpose was to prevent falling, according to Science Daily. However, in the majority of cases, the authors believed that simply having more nurses on staff would accomplish the same goal, and reduce the risk of restraint injury. Restraining a resident should be reserved only when absolutely necessary; depriving an individual of their freedom of movement should never be taken lightly. Excessive use of physical restraints was one of the top six most common types of abuse that staff members witnessed in one study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Unnecessary restraints, overly tight restraints, or overly long periods of restraint can cause:
- Cuts and lacerations;
- Bed sores; and
- Emotional and psychological suffering.
Excessive Use of Force By Nursing Home Staff
Whenever nursing staff use excessive or entirely unnecessary force to hold down a patient or cooperate with what the nursing staff member wants them to do, abuse has occurred. Nursing and assisted living staff are usually much stronger than the residents they are charged with caring for, yet videos, bruising on the victims, and other evidence show that excessive force is used all the time. Caring for seniors with depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s is not an easy job, but losing one’s temper and causing harm to residents is never okay and should not be forgiven.
False Imprisonment in a Nursing Home
Locking a resident in their room or restricting their movement without reason is another form of abuse, and one that is difficult to prove. False imprisonment happens frequently in nursing homes that are understaffed or that lack ethical management.
For Swift Legal Action, Call the Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Goudie & Kohn
If you believe that your elderly parent or other loved one is the victim of restraint abuse, physical abuse, or false imprisonment, you need to talk to an attorney immediately. Call our experienced Tampa nursing home abuse attorneys at Goudie & Kohn, P.A. today at 813-428-8504 to schedule a free consultation.