What isn’t restraint?

Clinical and Education Team on August 10, 2018 at 07:00 am

At present there is a significant level of conjecture and confusion regarding what constitutes restraint within the context of the Australian healthcare industry (and presumably around the world) in relation to the use of appropriate use bed rails.


Relevant Restraint Policies

There are three relevant and credible source documents regarding restraint relevant to the Australian Healthcare industry.


Source 1: The Australian Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing
The decision-making tool: Supporting a Restraint Free Environment in Residential aged care 2012.
Section 1 Page 1 defines restraint as: “Stopping a resident WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT from doing what they appear to want to do, or are doing, is restraint.”




Source 2: The Australian Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing
The National Aged Care Quality Indicators Resource Manual 2016 defines restraint as ‘The
INTENTIONAL restriction of a resident’s voluntary movement or behaviour by the use of a device, or removal of mobility aids, or physical force for behavioural purposes’.



Source 3: Werdenfelser Weg
In the Werdenfelser Weg Freedom Deprivation Classification of bed rails (published in December 2014), Dr Sebastian Kirsch states that: ‘Bed rails are NOT a Freedom Depriving Measure (FDM) if the resident:

  1.  Explicitly consents to the measure
  2.  Is physically able to willingly change their location
  3.  Is able to develop a natural will to move to another location




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August 10, 2018

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