The Use of Restraints With Elderly Patients in the Nursing Home

Essay by lilliputUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2008

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For many years an ongoing debate has grown over the proper way to restrain elderly patients in medical institutions all over the world. Over the years, the use of restraints has increased, because ensuring patient safety has become a great concern. Many believe that the most common reason for using restraints is to prevent injuries to these persons who are at risk of accidental falls due to physical or mental illness. The use of restraints has grown because of the concern for the safety of the residents living there. Sometimes there is no choice and restraining is for safety, even though family members do not understand this. But many people are in opposition to the use of physical restraints in nursing homes. There are many reports of terrible injuries and even death from improper use of restraints. Some people claim that the use of restraints violates the resident's basic human rights and that it is a procedure performed against their will.

However, my claim is that the use of physical restraints in the old age home should be implemented for safety reasons because many elderly patients suffer from diseases that cause decline in cognitive function, such asAlzheimer's Disease. The claim of this paper is that it is our obligation to protect these patients from hurting themselves, wandering off or falling. Due to the reports of injuries and deaths resulting from misuse of the devices, a call for strict guidelines in their usage has to be made.

It is my intention in this paper to demonstrate that in some instances physical restraining is necessary in the nursing home setting to ensure adequate safety measures. Secondly, I will discuss the legal and ethical aspect of using restraints. Finally, since restraints have the potential for causing serious injury, there are safety guidelines in...