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THE USE OF RESTRAINT IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE HOMES
Relatives or friends of people living in aged care homes are often concerned about issues involving the use of restraint of their relative. These concerns can include: • what is restraint • when is restrain required • what is the appropriate use of restraint • is authorization required and by whom. Restraint is the act of preventing a person from moving according to their wishes or imposing other forms of control (physical or chemical) that limit the actions of that person. In residential aged care restraint may be used as part of a home!s duty of care to protect someone from harm whilst optimising the person!s health status. "nder the Aged Care Act, 1997 and the #ccreditation $tandards established by the %ommonwealth &overnment e'pected outcomes for best practice in an aged care home should be: • • a restraint(free environment whenever possible that any restraint be the least restrictive type possible and only used after all reasonable alternatives have been e'plored that a decision to restrain a resident is made in partnership between the resident (or his or her representative) and the aged care team. Importantly there is a duty of care to uphold residents! rights and this is as important as a duty of care to ensure their physical safety. )or e'ample some alternatives to restraint could include: • altering the person!s physical environment • changing the mi' of residents in a bedroom or ad*acent rooms • avoiding activities or situations that might cause an'iety in the person • providing social and developmental activities that the resident en*oys. The aged care home must have a restraint policy. They must ensure that staff general practitioners health professionals families and others are aware of the policy how it is implemented when it is to be reviewed and by whom. If restraint is a predictable, n! in! re"#ire$ent f r a partic#lar resident then lawful authority to use it is required under $ection + of the NSW Guardianship Act, 1987.

/ea"th & Ageing& 2000 Aged +ights Ad*ocacy Ser*ice 1nc..htm It is important to 7eep in mind that any decisions made or actions ta7en need to be in the best interests of the resident. 34. T:I$ I$ .<T =>&#= #?@I%>.gt. 9nowledge of the procedures in an aged care home or aged care service and an active interest by relatives and friends can do much to assist the resident in being comfortable and safe.agedcareaustralia."aw"in).htm" #S$ Trustee and %uardian& 'o"icies (5 www.anua"& Commonwea"th -epartment o..com.gov.-4 www.accreditation. 4/5 6ebsite: www.More details are available from the: G#ardians%ip Trib#nal phone: 6ebsite: (. /.com inde!. +05 .gov. TARS recommends that you seek appropriate professional advice relevant to your particular situation.//0 10.au opg The +esidentia" Care . Sources: The Aged Care Standards & Accreditation Agency Ltd phone: 1800 288 025 www.aust.gov. Disclaimer: This document is a guide only and cannot take account of individual circumstances.go*.au If outside $ydney 2etropolitan area: Depart$ent f Healt% and A!ein! phone: 34.au8internet8main8publishing.nsw...nsf8%ontent8ageing(decision( restraint.au Restraint Decision Making Tool Information about assisting staff and management in an aged care home to ma7e informed decisions in relation to the use or non use of restraint in responding to at ris7 behaviours can be sourced at: http:88www.nsw.health.-) .au . 2SA3 #ews"etter Reviewed April 2010 The Aged-care Rights Service Inc including the Older persons Legal Service Ph 9281 3600 NSW country callers 1800 424 079 tars@tars.

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