In the 1970s and 1980s, there were a series of investigations into nursing homes across the United States. The results were less than stellar. The predominant images from those investigations was of elderly nursing home residents tied to their beds and wheelchairs. The public was justifiably outraged, and new regulations were put in place stating that physical restraints could only be used when there was a medical necessity.
An example of a medical necessity that would justify a physical restraint would be a resident who suffers from dangerous seizures (tonic clonic). Tonic clonic seizures can involve convulsions and could cause a resident to fall from bed or a chair without warning, hurting them very badly in the process.
Nursing home residents, especially those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, require attention and care. These are both often in short supply in nursing homes.
Instead of using the traditional restraints that were heavily regulated, the staff at the Paris Health Care Center in Paris, Illinois, was found during a recent inspection using lap trays to restrain one of their residents.
Nursing home inspectors from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) witnessed a resident with a lap tray from which she was unable to remove herself. She was seen at 10:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:30PM. The tray was attached to the chair with velcro in the back of the chair.
Certified nursing assistants at the facility told the nursing home inspectors that they always put the lap tray on the resident when she is in her wheelchair. Inspectors were told that “Everybody knows that.”
The Paris Health Care Center employee was capable of standing on her own and walking short distances with the assistance of walking devices. The lap tray was being used as a physical restraint without any medical justification. That is nursing home neglect.
If you have a loved one who has been the victim of nursing home neglect in an Illinois nursing home, contact the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law offices we never charge a fee unless we earn a recovery for you.