Use of a chair by thrashing Parkinson patient

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    My grandmother has end-stage Parkinson’s and is not in a geri chair, which has been working better for her than the wheelchair, but she tends to thrash her legs around a lot, so much so that she can wiggle herself out of the chair and injure herself. One time recently, she was moving her legs around so much that she injured herself on a nearby table and had to get xrays, etc. Today, she hurt herself again. Does anyone know of a geri chair that would prevent this? Or maybe there’s some problem with the chair and that’s why she’s thrashing her legs around so much? I’m going to talk to the nursing care director at her nursing home tomorrow, but I was wondering if anyone here had any advice?


    Compassion RN

    It sounds as if the nursing home may be trying to decrease the use of restraints. A geri chair is a restraint because it limits a person’s ability to move or get out of the chair. Any type of restraint has drawbacks that can result in serious injuries. However, some people feel a sense of comfort when sitting in a geri chair verses sitting in a wheelchair. In this situation, work together with the nursing home to get a doctor’s order due to patient request.

    To make the wheelchair more comfortable for your grandmother, cushions can be adapted to increase comfort and protect her legs. In addition, to prevent injury keep your grandmother’s wheelchair away from tables and other hazardous areas. If the thrashing and injuries continue to occur, ask the director of nursing if a geri chair can be used instead.

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