Excerpt from: Try This (click for full article)
Use of physical restraints in older adults is associated
with poor outcomes: functional decline, decreased peripheral circulation, cardiovascular
stress, incontinence, muscle atrophy, pressure ulcers, infections, agitation,
social isolation, psychiatric morbidity, serious injuries, and death. Of all
patients, older adults with dementia have the highest risk for being restrained
when hospitalized. Impaired
memory, judgment, and comprehension contribute to the difficulty these patients have in adapting to the hospital. Patients may try to ‘escape’ or ‘resist’ care because they feel ‘lost’ and afraid, yet language deficits associated with dementia limit their ability to clearly express these concerns. Brain damage associated with dementia also places patients at greater risk for delirium or acute confusional state, further increasing agitation, disorientation and confusion.