Contractures: Restricted Health Condition

Title 22 §87626

Contractures are the shortening of the muscle or joint resulting from and/or exacerbated by (among other things) inactivity.

Title 22 §87626(a)(1) ". . . the Licensee shall be permitted to accept or retain a resident who has contractures under the following circumstances:

(1) If the contractures do not severely affect functional ability and the resident is able to care for the contractures by him/herself (i.e. perform physical therapy exercises independently) ; or

(2) If the contractures do not severely affect functional ability and care and/or supervision is provided by an appropriately skilled professional (i.e, a skilled professional is responsible for assisting in the performance of exercises).

If a resident is experiencing contractures at the time of placement, it is important you discuss with the facility the resident's expectations regarding exercises and physical activity, and assess the facility's ability to meet the requirements, and your expectations. Facilities maintaining a limited activity program, or having inexperienced staff may cause contractures to worsen,  leading to decreased mobility, decreased quality-of-life, possible bedridden status, and perhaps make care in a skilled nursing home more immediate.  Here again, vigilance and communication are key.