I am happy to report that nursing homes are reducing their use of, and reliance upon, restraints. Restraints come in a variety of styles and uses from wrist restraints….to leg restraints…to lap belt restraints…to vest restraints.
For years, many nursing homes over-used restraints to limit the mobility of residents thereby reducing the need for care, attention, and supervision by staff. And fewer staff means less expense and more profit for the nursing home owners. Changes to federal law in 1987 made it illegal for nursing homes to use restraints, such as bed rails or wheelchair belts, to discipline residents or because of convenience. The use of restraints on nursing home patients declined by almost 40% between 2002 and 2006 as states and nursing homes began to eliminate the practice.
Restraints create their own hazards and require a doctor’s order. Make sure your facility is not abusing the use of physical restraints.