Federal law prohibits using physical and chemical restraints in Texas nursing and elder homes. These tactics are typically used as a form of discipline or convenience. Unfortunately, even after three decades since the passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, restraints still persist. It’s vital that families and loved ones of nursing home residents guard elders against chemical and physical restraints.
Physical Restraints Used in Texas Nursing Homes
All nursing home residents were given the right to be free from restraints by the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. The only exception to the rule is when restraints are ordered by a doctor. It is illegal to use restraints on a nursing home resident without a physician’s order. Physical restraints are typically in the form of a device placed around or next to a resident for eliminating or limiting their movement.
Residents are at great risk for serious injury and even death when nursing homes use physical restraints as a substitute to regular monitoring and evaluation. These are a few examples of common physical restraints used:
- Arm restraints
- Wheelchair belts
- Hand mitts
- Lap trays or “lap buddies”
- Vests or ties
- Leg restraints
- Bed rails
- Loop fasteners and hooks on clothing