ALLITY TOPICKS | DECEMBER 2019

Environmental restraint: what is it?

20 December 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 comfort to move in and out of the surrounding grounds at their leisure.

Our Homes adopt a person-centered approach, and where possible a restraint free environment.

A person-centered approach is way of thinking that preserves the human rights of any individual. All residents are entitled to respect and protect their basic 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 considered restraint. This 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 a resident's movement without their 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, it will still be defined as restraint, and precautions must be taken in the care of that resident. Usually these decisions are made in the interests of safety. However, the expected benefits need to be weighed against the potential harm of any form of restraint.

Perimeter restraints include:

Many Allity Homes have been designed with coded keypad entrances, the intention is not, and has never been to unnecessarily or unduly restrain our residents' movement in and out of our Homes, but instead to facilitate appropriate entry and exit 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 operate the keypad system. As such, Allity interpret this as a form of environmental restraint, in which case, we work collaboratively with the resident and their family to ensure the appropriate authorisations and safety precautions are in place to maintain freedoms.

Allity recognises the importance of safety for our residents, and much like you, would not 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.

A balance between ensuring the safety of our residents and maintaining freedom of choice is vitally important for Allity, and where possible all efforts are made to minimise the use of any restrictive practices, including environmental restraints.

Further information can be found at the following link:
https://agedcare.health.gov.au/sites/g/files/net1426/f/documents/09_2014/residential_aged_care_internals_fa3-web.pdf

 

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