Restrictive practices in aged care

03 March 2022

The overuse of restraints and restrictive practices on frail older Australians in the aged care sector is shocking and alarming.

The negative impacts of restrictive practices, when inappropriately used, including serious physical and psychological harm, were a feature in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Final Report.

Labor strongly supports improved regulation in the area of restrictive practices to help better protect older Australians receiving aged care services.

Restrictive practices should only ever be used as a last resort to protect the safety of aged care residents, staff and visitors.

Labor acknowledges the significant concerns that stakeholders, advocates and families have raised about recent government bills relating to the use and definition of restrictive practices in aged care.

On balance, while we do not believe these bills are perfect and have concerns around the lack of a sunset clause, for example, we do believe these will improve the current regulation of restrictive practices in aged care. We also note that all of these measure will need to be re-examined for the drafting of the new Aged Care Act which is due to be finished in 2023 and will be the responsibility of whoever is in government.

Labor believes strongly that older Australians deserve dignity and respect in aged care.

Those who built our country deserve so much better from the aged care system and the Federal Government they trust to keep them safe.