Staff “determines” bedridden status?

You’ve heard of bedridden, right? Well, does it really exist in residential care facilities? That’s both a yes and a no, depending upon your staff and assistive devices.

Health and Safety Code 1569.72(b)(1) has the true and legal definition of bedridden: “For the purposes of this section, ‘bedridden’ means requiring assistance in turning and repositioning in bed or being unable to independently transfer to and from bed, except in a facility with appropriate and sufficient care staff, mechanical devices, if necessary, and safety precautions, as determined by the director in regulations.”

If clients need assistance turning or changing position—are they bedridden? If clients need help transferring in and out of bed—are they bedridden? Is your staff trained and implored to turn, reposition, and/or transfer residents out of bed? If so, according to the legal definition of bedridden, no client is bedridden if staff turn, reposition or assist in transferring clients! However, if staff is neglecting clients, i.e. not turning, repositioning or assisting with a bed transfer, then clients are bedridden, and the licensee and the staff are abusing the clients. Does the staff need more supervision and training? Perhaps staff should be terminated for neglecting the clients? Should the licensee be “fined” or “closed” for being negligent?

Does the facility have mechanical devices to assist with turning or repositioning and assisting clients out of bed? Then, again, the client is not bedridden. It is just that simple even if an analyst states otherwise.

Before admission or during any physician visit, provide the client’s physician with the legal definition of bedridden (stated above) or use our medical assessment. (A facility is not obligated to use LIC602 or LIC602A). The law defining bedridden is not quoted or referenced in the state’s forms but is in our medical assessment. Remember, ONLY a healthcare professional can diagnose or determine a client’s bedridden or ambulatory status. Business and Professions Code 2052 prohibits anyone without a medical certificate to diagnose or determine a client’s bedridden or ambulatory status.