The Hidden Restraint, Part 1

Hidden Restraint, smallerThis post by Dr. Al Power was published on on July 30, 2016.

Imagine if we considered locked doors in memory care wards as restraints.

Having given many seminars on restraint reduction 15-20 years ago, I am very familiar with how CMS defines a restraint. It’s any device, attached to or adjacent to a person’s body that prohibits freedom of movement.

So obviously a Posey vest fits the definition. But also a low chair from which a person cannot rise independently is also a restraint, even when not tied. The bottom line is that if you could move freely by yourself otherwise, and now you cannot, you are being restrained.

So by those criteria, what is another device adjacent to a person that prevents freedom of movement? How about…a locked door?

Now the Feds don’t define it as a restraint; but it fits the criteria. Imagine if in your quarterly QI reports you had to code every person behind a locked door as being restrained. How would that affect your profile?

Read the entire blog here at

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