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Keep Moving- Nursing Home Responsibilities in Preventing Elderly Contractures

Submitted by jrlaw on May 12th, 2010

In Dallas, elder abuse cases of contractures caused in nursing homes has become all too common. “Contracture” refers to a medical condition where the legs, feet, arms and hands become stiff and slowly pull toward the body because of the fixed position of the joints. Uncontrolled muscle movement is the most common problem that may result in this condition. Older patients are more likely to suffer from it. You can realize the severity of this condition with the very fact that its treatment requires the patients to go through an aggressive orthopedic surgical procedure. There is typically no other alternative.

In Dallas, reporting elder abuse cases of contractures has shown that patients suffering from the condition tend to develop bedsores because their ability to move is very limited. In particular, if even nursing home staff members also do not provide assistance to these patients in movement, the condition may become worse fast. Less mobility in patients suffering from contractures means higher risks of bedsores.

Preventive Methods That Nursing Homes Must Use

There are many things that nursing homes must do in order to prevent this condition. People who stay in nursing homes are usually very frail and elderly because of which their range of motion and mobility is also limited. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the nursing home authorities to provide adequate care and assistance to them so that conditions like contractures can be prevented. For example, proper positioning in wheelchairs and beds is very important. Since the residents are paying for the services promised by nursing homes, it is their legal right to get proper assistance in positioning. The staff members must try some common techniques, such as providing headrests, chair trays, or additional cushions to make things more comfortable for the patients. In Dallas, reporting elder abuse cases of contractures shows that positioning evaluations play a very important role in order to determine if staff members at nursing homes provided adequate preventive care to the patient.

To prevent contractures in the feet and hands, elderly residents must also be provided with specially made splinting devices, such as wrist cushions, pads and boots. Besides that, orthopedic supports such as elbow braces and fitted knee pads are also effective techniques to prevent such conditions. In order to determine the severity of Dallas nursing home abuse neglect, Dallas personal injury lawyers also investigate if the patients got proper assistance in doing the exercises needed to prevent contractures.

Many times, people do not take legal action, as they assume that contractures are a common condition in elderly people. It is very important for you to keep in mind that such a condition in a nursing home environment can easily be prevented, but if it still occurs, it means there has been negligence on part of the staff members. So, make sure you consult a good lawyer and report these cases. In Dallas, reporting elder abuse cases of contractures can help you get adequate compensation.