When you're trying to find the right facility for a loved one that is experiencing dementia or Alzheimer's disease, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of safety factors and care requirements you need to check for at each potential home. Understanding the specific policies of each senior care home ensures you find a facility that treats your family member with the latest techniques to minimize injury and illness. Find out what a restraint policy is for patients in memory care and what kind of policies are best.
Basics of Restraint Use
In some facilities and most emergency rooms, restraints are used when a patient becomes a danger to themselves or others. However, this can lead to a reliance on restraints during long-term care because it's often the simplest way to prevent a patient with memory issues from falling, wandering through the facility, or acting aggressively towards staff and other residents.
Yet using restraints can injury a patient even when used temporarily, and may lead to long-term illness and complications when used to limit a resident's movement for longer periods of time. Restraints used on dementia patients may include bed rails and connected wrist and ankle cuffs, locking trays and wheelchair restraints. The restraint policy states how and when a care home will use these kinds of tools on residents.
Potential for Injury
While it may be absolutely necessary to use these kinds of restraints and the chemical restraints when a person is acting very aggressively, they should only be used as a last resort. Routine or regular use of restraints leads to injuries such as skin ulcers and bed sores, isolation from friends, further anger or confusion, depression, and more. Restraints have complex social, mental, emotional, and physical effects on patients with complete cognitive faculties, so the impact on a patient with dementia is even greater.
So if restraints are not a good option for daily prevention of falls and wandering, what should you look for in a facility's restraint policy? The first step to dealing with any problem behavior with a resident should be diagnostic testing from the staff and assigned doctors to determine if a patient is ill, in need of social interaction, hungry, or struggling with another problem. Aside from ruling out easily solved causes of these behaviors, the second step should involve less intrusive mobility controls like small and discreet monitors, personal alarms to remind residents where to go at certain times, and closer monitoring by the staff.
Contact a care center, like Satori Senior Care, for more help.