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My mother developed contractures in a nursing home. Could this have been prevented?

 

A:

 

Yes. Contractures develop due to lack of movement and exercise. This means that if your mother already has limited mobility, the nursing home staff at the facility should be performing exercises or physical therapy stretches on your mother. If your mother has limited mental disabilities, the nursing home staff workers should remind your mother to exercise or help her through her routines.

Nursing home staff workers who deal with residents who are physically or mentally impaired are trained to spot warning signs of contractures and know what exercises residents should do to prevent contractures from forming in the first place. Some of the ways nursing home workers can help prevent contractures include:

  • Repositioning – Elderly patients who cannot walk should be repositioned in their beds and wheelchairs through the use of armrests, headrests, cushions, and trays.
  • Exercises – Typically, an elastic band or pulley is used to help elderly residents stretch their muscles. If a resident cannot exercise on his or her own, a staff member who knows how to conduct these exercises will manually manipulate the resident’s joints to maintain flexibility and range of motion.
  • Splints – Nursing home residents may need the use of orthopedic devices such as foot splints, hand braces, or wrist cushions to prevent contractures from developing.

If you believe your mother was neglected in a nursing home in Florida and has thus suffered contractures, contact our law firm for a free initial consultation today at 888-409-3805 and request a free copy of our book, The Florida Nursing Home Abuse Handbook: Ways to Recognize and Prevent Abuse and Neglect.