The idea of government-run nursing homes can sound frightening like camps for the elderly, but in truth these Medicare and Medicaid facilities offer care that is adequate or better so long as the standards set out by Medicare.gov are being followed. Yet if you find that certain behavior toward your elderly loved one in the nursing home is causing you worry, you may need to be aware of the rights of patients in Medicare and Medicaid facilities. For instance, what if your elderly relative is being restrained? Is that legal?
It is not. Medicare.gov details the rights and protections afforded to any elderly person in a government-funded facility, and one such freedom is freedom from restraint. If anyone tries to justify this as restraining them for their own good, they may be trying to justify personal injury inflicted against your loved one. Restraining people can cause them to injure themselves if they struggle against the restraints, including bruising; it may also aggravate existing conditions in the fragile and elderly, such as weak bones or other health conditions that suffer under exertion.
Restraints also prevent the elderly from being able to tend to themselves in the event of a personal of premises emergency, such as needing medication to address rapid heart rate or the premises catching fire and requiring evacuation. Simply put, it is not safe to restrain a nursing home occupant, and if your elderly loved one has been restrained they may be suffering personal injury as a result.
This has been an informational blog post and does not stand in as a substitute for valid legal advice.