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Eliminating Restraints In The Care Of Elderly Residents

1647 words - 7 pages

Breanna ArmstrongVictoria HoltzEnglish 105 Accelerated Composition21 October 2013Eliminating Restraints in the Care of Elderly ResidentsFalls are the second largest cause of accidental death within the world. Roughly 424,000 individuals suffer from fatal falls every year. Furthermore, 20-30% of elderly individuals who suffer from falls will experience severe injuries such as broken hips and abrasions to the head (Falls). Although falls may seem unavoidable and unpreventable, many organizations have searched for ways to help protect elderly individuals from serious falls and injuries. However, many of these organizations have turned to the usage of medical restraints to help prevent these accidents from occurring.Many nursing homes over the past 100 years have implemented the usage of physical restraints. Not only were they applied to aid in fall prevention for the elderly, they were also used for a way to control patients with behavioral issues and therapeutic techniques (Restraints: Physical/Chemical). Physical restraints are defined as "…any device, material, or equipment that is attached to or adjacent to a person's body, cannot be removed easily, and restricts freedom of movement." (Restraints). Until recently, the usage of medical restraints was typical and unquestioned. With recent research and debate, medical restraints are proving to be more hazardous for the resident's health than if the restraint was not in use. The number of falls, serious injuries, and psychological disturbances consistently increases with the implementation of restraints in nursing homes. Because of their detrimental effects on residents, medical restraint within the nursing home should be immediately removed and banned due to their likeliness to cause an increase in physical and mental harm to the patient. Alternative methods to therapy and recovery should be applied instead of the usage of medical restraints.Medical restraints have a long standing history of injuring patients within nursing homes. The continuation of restraints, although detrimental, is due to habit. This is observable through the history of restraints. According to The Encyclopedia of Aging, they were first used in the 19th century for behavior control and prevention of injuries. Studies have shown that throughout the history of restraints, their usage has been most common during weekend days and night shifts. The Encyclopedia of Elderly Care has determined that this trend is in accordance with insufficient staffing and the extreme cost to hire new employees within nursing homes. Having enough staff to carefully watch each resident is too costly to the nursing homes; therefore, restraining residents allows the staff to be able to make their rounds without having constant surveillance of the residents. Lane states that restraints have typically varied between the usage of "…vests, straps, wrist ties, splints, casts, mitts, belts, wheelchair bars and brakes, binders and bed sheets."...

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