Decision Making Tool: Supporting a Restraint-Free Environment

Page last updated: 26 September 2014

This document has been developed to assist staff and management working in both the residential and community aged care setting to make informed decisions in relation to the use or non use of restraint, in responding to behaviours of concern.

A restraint-free environment is seen as a basic human right for all and care recipients are entitled to respect and protection of their basic rights and freedoms, regardless of whether the care is being provided in a residential aged care setting or within the care recipients own home.

The Decision Making Tool: Responding to issues of restraint in Aged Care (2004) resource has been updated and developed into separate tool kits for the community and residential sectors.

In keeping with Ministerial endorsement of the Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care in 2010, each section of the Tool Kits align with one of the three endorsed core principles, namely:

  • person-centred
  • driven by information
  • organised for safety.

These Tool Kits are designed to assist in the decision making process bearing in mind that any form of restraint is only to be used as a last resort. Organisational policies and procedures need to be underpinned by a restraint-free way of thinking and developed in conjunction with relevant legislation such as the Aged Care Act 1997.

The tool kits replace the Decision Making Tool: Responding to issues of restraint in Aged Care previously published by the Department of Health and Ageing.

Decision-Making Tool: Supporting a Restraint Free Environment in Community Aged Care

A restraint-free environment means no words, devices or actions will interfere with a person’s ability to make a decision or restrict their free movement.

Decision-Making-Tool: Supporting a Restraint Free Environment in Residential Aged Care

A person-centred approach is a restraint free approach – a way of thinking that preserves the human rights of any person. All residents are entitled to respect and protection of their basic rights and freedoms, regardless of where they live. This entitlement includes all persons bearing a corresponding obligation to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of others.