Practices in nursing homes across Australia vary when it comes to easy access for residents and visitors but should nursing home doors be locked?
If you’ve visited a relative or friend at a nursing home recently, you may have noticed there was a particular set-up that probably involved signing in and out. Perhaps you were screened at reception. There may have been a lock or special exit button that’s obviously designed to keep residents in.
It’s widely thought that access in and out of nursing homes ought to be restricted to maximise the safety of residents. But that belief appears to be without foundation, according to a recent ABC News article exploring the issue. It refers to a review of statistics on unexplained absences from nursing homes, published by the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
The review concluded there was “almost no evidence” that unexplained absences from nursing homes led to greater harm.
What do you think, should nursing home doors should be locked?
Keep in mind that one of the review’s authors was “absolutely blown away that there is so little research” on this issue. Perhaps with more data, it might be shown that greater harm is caused to residents one way over the other.
Our team at Catherine Henry Lawyers has a strong interest in Elder Law and issues affecting older Australians so we’d love to know your opinion. Should nursing home doors be locked?