If you are a family caregiver and your loved one is at risk of falling (or has fallen repeatedly) and/or has mobility and memory problems, you should be aware of the types of ‘restraint practices’ staff may be utilizing on a routine basis. It is common practice for healthcare facilities (including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities) to utilize elder restraints.

Elders who are at greatest risk for restraints include those with:

• Mobility problems (difficulties with walking /balance)
• Cognitive problems (dementia)
• Behavioral disturbances (agitation and other outbursts)
• History of multiple falls

Many persons with dementia, behavioral issues and fall risk are treated with sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs to control their behavior and risk of falling. Many times, these drugs may have dangerous side effects and act more like ‘chemical restraints’.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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