Environmental restraint: what is it?

4 October 2019
By Stephen Wiblin, Head of Clinical and Strategy & Development


Environmental Restraint

At Allity, our primary focus is ensuring that our residents are able to Live Every day, Love what they do and Shine. This extends to our Home’s physical environment, which have been purposefully designed to allow our residents the freedom and comforts to move in and out of the surrounding grounds at their leisure.

Our Home’s adopt a Person-centred, and where possible a restraint free approach.

A person-centred approach is way of thinking that preserves the human rights of any individual. All residents are entitled to respect and protection of their basic rights and freedoms, regardless of where they live.

A restraint free approach, requires that the use of any restraint must always be the last resort after exhausting all reasonable alternative management options. Stopping a resident without their consent from doing what they appear to want to do, or are doing, is restraint. Restraint is any aversive practice, device or action that interferes with any person’s ability to make a decision or which restricts their free movement.

Environmental restraint

Environmental restraint is the restriction of movement by the resident without the resident’s explicit and informed consent. Examples of environmental restraint include:

If it is decided, after careful consideration of all options, that restraint is to be used in the resident’s best interests, then it is still restraint, and precautions must be observed in the care of the resident who is restrained. Usually these decisions are made in the interests of the resident’s safety. However, the expected benefits need to be weighed against the potential harm of any form of restraint.

Perimeter restraints include:

Allity acknowledge that coded and keypad entries are a feature of many of our Homes, the intention behind these codes and keypads has never been to unnecessarily or unduly restrain any of our residents. Allity have adopted a strategy in all Homes that includes having the keypad code available at the Homes entry to facilitate appropriate entry and exit from the Home, for our residents and their visitors.

However there may be some situations where a resident due to either physical or cognitive limitations may not be able to easily understand or process this information. For this reason, Allity interpret this as constituting environmental restraint, and hence work collaboratively with our residents and their families to ensure the appropriate authorisations and safety precautions are maintained.

Allity also recognise the importance of safety for our residents, and much like you wouldn’t keep your own doors unlocked and open at night, Allity’s keypad entries are primarily designed to maintain resident safety, and also control temperatures in the Home during the cold winter months, and warm summer periods.

This is a critical issue for Allity, and where possible all efforts are maintained to minimise the use of restrictive practices, including environmental restraints.

Further information can be found at the following link:


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