Living with dementia

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When restraint-free strategies are ineffective

The preferred choice remains to use no restraints.

If all other possible approaches have been exhausted and the use of a restraint is contemplated, the following factors should be considered:

  • Has the problem been clearly defined?

  • Has there been an assessment to determine why it is necessary to intervene?

  • Have other strategies been tried?

  • Has proper consideration been given to the reason for selecting the restraint?

  • What are the risks and benefits for the person with dementia and others?

Minimal restraint

There may be some circumstances in which minimal restraint is needed. If restraints are used, the least restrictive restraints must be chosen and they must be used appropriately. As well, short-term goals should be set, and the person should be monitored closely and re-assessed regularly.

Inappropriate use of restraints

An inappropriate use of restraints occurs if restraints are misused or used too often, or when used for the benefit of staff. For example, the use of a restraint that decreases the person’s ability to participate in activities of daily living creates stress and has a negative effect on quality of life.


Last Updated: 03/17/14
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