There are two common operational practices that make it difficult for organizations to visualize a pathway to unlocking doors (and many other activities as well): all-or-none thinking and surplus safety. I explore each of these in the conclusion to my series “Hidden Restraints.”
Walking (indoors and outdoors) is something we all do freely, every day, without even thinking about it. Moving away from “lock-down” memory care for people living with dementia not only helps alleviate distress, but also affirms and enables everyone’s basic human right to be able to move freely.
Recently, I posted a provocative argument for considering locked doors as physical restraints. I have received many comments about the post; and as promised, I am following up with a second installment (of three), in which I will give some guidelines for those who wish to take up the challenge.
The problem with “restraints” in long-term care is that in most cases the things we do to increase physical safety help us to feel better, but actually decrease the sense of security felt by the person. So it is with locked doors in memory care homes.