The legal position:
- The laws that cover England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland see no difference between an older person living in their own home and an older person living in a care home.
- The law assumes that people can make decisions for themselves unless it is proved otherwise
- Relatives do not have the legal right to make decisions for a Client
- Anyone making decisions on behalf of Clients regarding them needs to think about the seriousness of the decision they are making on the Clients behalf.
Responsibly taking risks is part of normal life. People who move into care and nursing homes have the same rights as everyone else to make decisions. About how they live their lives. We all enjoy taking taking some risks, even if we know that doing so may put ourselves in danger.
‘There is no such thing as a risk free environment’
Clients at The Home also have a right to be safe. Most of our Clients are vulnerable. They by being admitted, accept that it is part of the staff’s role to protect them, even if this means losing some independence.
Sometimes, protecting a Client from harm may involve preventing them doing what they wish to do. No matter how you do this
‘You are using some form of restraint’
In certain circumstances, it is right to use restraint; it can keep Clients or staff safe and may improve the quality of life. However, restraint must be used carefully and only when it is appropriate. Moving into The Rectory does not mean that Clients have given you permission to limit their movements and reduce their freedom without very good reason.
Providing a reasonable level of safety and supporting a good quality of life involves striking a delicate balance, not doing enough or doing too much can be seen as restraint so it is important to assess the situation carefully and involve those who need to be involved, even of that is the Client alone.