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Detailing the use of chemical restraints

Placing your loved one under the care of a nursing home staff in Queens requires a great deal of trust on your part. Unfortunately, we here at Futterman, Sirotkin and Seinfeld, LLP can attest to the fact that such trust can be easily abused. Those working in nursing homes may often tell you that their resources are strained dealing with the number of residents entrusted to them. Sometimes, caregivers may use that excuse to use potentially dangerous methods to make their jobs easier.

One such method that has been documented by investigators looking into cases of nursing home neglect is the use of chemical restraints. According to federal law (as shared by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), a chemical restraint is defined as any drug administered not to treat a medical condition, but rather as a form of discipline or for convenience. Furthermore, it goes on to define “convenience” as anything a facility’s staff does to be able to control or manage a resident’s behavior with a lesser amount of effort.

Caregivers may quickly notice the affect that medications have on residents. Thus, they may be tempted to administer drugs knowing that doing so may suppress your family member or friend’s physical abilities to the point of essentially confining them to where they are.

Federal law prohibits the use of chemical restraints. Indicators that your loved one’s caregivers could be using such restraints on him or her may be:

  •          Consistent confusion or disorientation
  •          Constant fatigue or exhaustion
  •          Frequent oversleeping
  •          Sudden withdrawal or reclusiveness

If you notice these signs, as well as frequent complaints from both residents and staff about overcrowding, you should report your suspicions to the proper authorities immediately.

More information on spotting nursing home abuse can be found here on our site. 

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