The use of a physical restraint is strictly prohibited in a nursing home setting unless the resident has been evaluated and assessed for a specific medical condition and a physician orders the restraint to be used within specific parameters. Any physical or chemical restraint that is used as a punishment or convenience to the nursing staff is both ethically wrong and against state and federal laws. Unfortunately, the Chicago elder abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have represented many residents who been victimized by the nursing staff and physically restrained against their will without any authorization, informed consent or physician’s order.
In 1987, U.S. Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act that stated in part that every nursing home resident has the legal right to remain free from chemical and physical restraints used for convenience or discipline. This includes the unauthorized use of hand mitts, ankle or wrist restraints, and restraining vests that hold the resident to the bed or chair, bed sheets tightly tucked to prevent the resident from moving and placing residents in wheelchairs toward the wall and attempt to prevent them from getting up.Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is a 190-certified bed for profit Medicare/Medicaid-participating nursing facility providing services to residents of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois. The facility is located at:
4900 North Bernard
Chicago, Illinois 60625
Services at Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center include:
- Around-the-clock skilled nursing care
- Physical, occupational and speech therapies
- Hospice care
- Respite care
- Wound care
- Pain management
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease treatment
To reflect the most current information on opened investigations, filed complaints, safety violations and health concerns, the state of Illinois and the federal government routinely update their nursing home databases. The information is then posted on numerous websites including the federal government’s Medicare.gov through its star rating summary system comparative analysis tool. Many families use this valuable information to make the best-informed decision before placing a loved one in a nursing facility who requires a high level of health and hygiene attention.
Currently, Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center maintains an overall two out of five available star rating compared with other facilities all across the United States. This includes three out of five stars for quality measures and two out of five stars for both staffing issues and health concerns. Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys have found numerous safety concerns involving this facility that include:
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Is Free from Unnecessary and Unauthorized Physical Restraint
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 06/11/2015, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure that restraints were identified, assessed and re-evaluated for treatment [according to the physician’s orders].” The state surveyor reviewed the facility’s 06/08/2015 document provided to the survey crew “within one hour of the entrance conference” that read in part: “Number of Residents with Physical Restraint Is Zero.”
However, at 3:30 PM on the same day on 06/08/2015, an observation was made of a resident “sitting in a wheelchair with a seatbelt around the trunk.” Five minutes later at 3:35 PM, Certified Nursing Aide providing the resident care “release the seat belt that was around the trunk of the resident [before transferring the resident] from a wheelchair to the bed to provide incontinent care.”
The Certified Nursing Assistant stated that the resident “wears the seat belt all the time while [in the] wheelchair [...and] wears it every day from breakfast until 3:00 PM in the afternoon. Usually, when the second shift (3:00 PM to 11:00 PM) staff [arrives] we release the seat belt on the wheelchair and put [the resident] back to bed [where he] cannot release the seat belt by himself.”
The state investigator interviewed the facility’s Restorative Director 2:05 PM on 06/09/2015 stated that the resident “came into the facility with his customized wheelchair with an inbuilt seatbelt. We never did any restorative or Occupational Therapy (OT) assessments on [him]. The nursing staff were applying the seat belt on [the resident] without OT evaluation.”
An interview was then conducted by the state investigator with the facility’s Director of Nursing Services at 11:15 AM on 06/11/2015 who stated: “a restraint is any type of device or equipment used that would restrict the resident’s normal movement.” The Director also stated that the resident “cannot remove his seat belt by himself. The customized wheelchair that [the resident] is using was brought by the family. The staff was not aware of not using seatbelts on customized wheelchairs.”
The Director of Nursing Services also “added that for a restraint to be in use, there should be an assessment of the resident and the assistive device, a medical condition that indicates the use of restraint, an order from the physician, a Care Plan, and alternatives to be tried before a physical restraint is used.”
If your loved one has been physically or chemically restrained without authorization while residing at Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center or any Illinois nursing facility, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can protect your loved one’s rights. Our Cook County elder abuse attorneys can begin the process on your behalf of obtaining the financial compensation you and your family deserve for your damages.
To successfully resolve the case, we urge you to contact our Chicago Illinois nursing home abuse law firm today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation. Our law firm handles all personal injury cases on contingency to avoid the need for an upfront payment.