Study find that  people with dementia in residential aged care, the use of restraints is front and centre. Restraints are sometimes use in an attempt to prevent harm for example, to prevent falls or to stop wandering. Therefore In some cases, they’re also use to manage “difficult” behaviour. Because Dementia is a degenerative brain disease which affects not just memory but also mood and behaviour.

Confused behavioural symptoms

As neural pathways are lost, the person may be less able to interpret the world and communicate clearly. This can result in agitated and confused behavioural symptoms. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia can be challenging for aged care staff to manage. But restraints should only be used for short periods of time to protect residents or staff, and only after all alternatives have been exhausted.

Physical restraint is anything that restricts body movement. This includes: belts and vests attache to a bed, chair or wheelchair chairs or wheelchairs with lock  tables bed rails door alarms There is no reliable data on how often residents are physically restrain, but data from the 1990s and 2000s suggest between 12% and 49% have been restrain at some stage.

Restricts body movement

Physical restraints have historically  use because they are thought to keep residents safe from injuries, such as falling out of bed or off chairs. But research from the 1990s find that restraints actually increased the risk of injury. Take the use of bed rails, for instance. When a resident attempts to get out of bed after bed rails have been installed, they are more likely to become entangled or fall.

Alternative strategies might include lowering the bed and placing soft fall materials on the floor. The use of physical restraint also increases the residents’ isolation from their peers and staff. As a result, residents are more likely to experience anxiety, depressive symptoms, and some form of cognitive decline. Positive social relationships protect against cognitive decline. So it’s important for aged care residents to stay socially connected to their peers.

Psychotropic medications

Chemical restraint is the use of sedative, antipsychotic and antidepressant medications, collectively known as psychotropics, which affect residents’ emotional and physical behaviour. Some estimates suggest almost one in two residents may be inappropriately prescribe these medications. Psychotropic medications are prescribe for people with chronic depression or paralysing anxiety, but should be used in conjunction with psychotherapies.

For those with more serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, they can be a necessity for stability. However, these medications should not be used for people who are wandering, restless, or for being just uncooperative. Inform consent  obtain from the patient and/or their family before before psychotropic medications are administer, or in emergency situations, immediately after the fact.