Twin Lakes Terrace is now a 100% restraint-free long-term care home, and the last two residents using restraints are experiencing improved quality of life since the restrictive devices were removed, says registered practical nurse and rehab and quality improvement co-ordinator Shelley Vansevenant.
One of the quality improvement team’s goals for 2017 was to reduce restraints to below the provincial benchmark of 3%. Thanks to the team educating residents and families about the pitfalls of wheelchair seat belts, table tops, and bed rails, the Sarnia long-term care home has no residents using restraints.
“Our home is now at zero (residents using restraints) and we plan to strive very hard to maintain this statistic by education upon admission with resident and families, and continuing to promote our least-restraint policy,” said Vansevenant.
Residents who are fitted with restraints in long-term care homes are done so at the urging of their family members. But these devices do not necessarily keep people safe. In fact, they can pose danger. They also impede on people’s quality of life.
This is why it’s important to educate families, Vansevenant says.
“We don’t want to scare families, but we want to make them more aware of the risks (that come with) restraints, (because) there are probably more risks than benefits to them,” she says.
After educating their family members, the restraints were removed from the last two residents, and they were assessed and monitored daily.
The results speak for themselves.
One resident has had a decrease in falls and is now participating in the nursing rehab walking program; the other resident was previously bedridden and is now in a wheelchair with no devices and attending three meals a day, Vansevenant says.
“Both families are very pleased with these outcomes,” she adds.
The Twin Lakes Terrace quality team is now in the process of completing an educational brochure about the dangers restraints pose. The brochure is primarily aimed at family members.
The team is also working on a communication tool and tip sheet for team members to refer to, should families request restraints for their loved ones.
This story was provided to the Steeves & Rozema Group by Axiom News and originally appeared on the S&R Today website. Republished with permission.