Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
Decatur and Throughout Georgia

Can a Nursing Home Be Sued for Using Restraints?

lonely corridor in nursing home with walker railings

A nursing home abuse lawyer can be your family's voice for justice.

Nursing home abuse can cover a wide range. And one of the most common forms of abuse families often contact our law firm about involves family members being physically restrained at a nursing home.

Many families are understandably horrified when they find out that a loved one has been physically restrained by nursing home staff members. Families also want to know if nursing homes can legally use physical restraints.

If you suspect nursing home negligence, there may be recourse through the civil justice system. Contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation with a Georgia nursing home abuse attorney at Kurle Justus, LLC, in Decatur. We can answer your questions and explain your potential legal options.

What is a physical restraint?

As the name suggests, physical restraints are any device that's used to hold a person in place so they cannot move. Common physical restraints include:

  • Wrist restraints
  • Ankle restraints
  • Hand mitts
  • Restraints attached to bedrails
  • Wheelchair belts
  • Hook and loop restraints

Depending on how they are used, other items can serve as restraints. For instance, even bedrails without restraints attached can prevent a resident from getting out of bed. At mealtimes, lap trays can be utilized to prevent residents from standing. Lap cushions, snugly fitted sheets, and orthotic devices are other devices that are commonly used by nursing home staff as restraints.

Along with physical restraints, "chemical restraints," or overmedication of residents to keep them docile, is a very immoral yet common practice among negligent nursing facilities. Chemical restraints carry a significant risk of patients suffering cognitive decline, falls, breathing problems, and other issues.

Are nursing homes allowed to use restraints?

In very limited situations, nursing homes in Georgia are legally allowed to use certain types of physical restraints to hold a nursing home resident in place. However, nursing homes must abide by very strict guidelines and standards of care when using physical restraints.

In addition, a nursing home must have authorization from a doctor to use physical restraints on a nursing home resident. All restraint protocols must also be listed in writing and documented in writing as part of the nursing home resident's written medical record.

These protocols typically require nursing home employees to regularly check on residents to ensure they are not in pain or being mistreated. Such welfare checks are normally conducted at least once every hour.

What legal options are available to families?

Families of nursing home residents who are physically abused or psychologically traumatized due to being restrained can and should take legal action against the nursing home. Just because a nursing home had permission to use physical restraints does not give them the right to abuse someone.

Many times, families begin this process by notifying the nursing home directly about their concerns. Such complaints can be made verbally or in writing. However, some families might be concerned or afraid to deal directly with the nursing home. That's why many families choose to contact our law firm to help with this complicated legal process.

Why should I hire a nursing home abuse lawyer?

Along with dealing directly with the nursing home, an attorney can help you file a formal complaint with the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in Georgia, which investigates nursing home abuse complaints. An experienced lawyer can also deal with insurance companies and anyone responsible for compensating your family for your loved one's pain and suffering.

The Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers at Kurle Justus, LLC, in Decatur, have years of experience dealing with complicated legal cases. That's why many families turn to us when faced with such a traumatic experience.

Your family has suffered enough. Get the help you need and deserve. Contact us and schedule an appointment with a Decatur nursing home abuse attorney you can count on in a crisis. We handle nursing home neglect and abuse cases throughout Georgia.

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