Minimising restraints in aged care

Using restraint in an aged care setting must always be the last resort. There are laws around use of physical and chemical restraint in residential aged care.

Laws on minimising restraint

Residential aged care providers have specific responsibilities that relate to the use of physical and chemical restraints. These responsibilities are in the Quality of Care Principles.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has information to support providers.

Further strengthening of the legislation

The Quality of Care Amendment (Reviewing Restraints Principles) Principles 2019 came into effect on 29 November 2019. The legislation now:

  • makes it clear restraint must always be used as a last resort
  • refers to state and territory legislation for prescribers’ responsibilities regarding informed consent
  • requires a 12-month review of the restraint regulation operations to ensure they are minimising the use of inappropriate restraint


The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has resources to support providers to minimise the use of restraints.

The Guiding Principles for Medication Management in Residential Aged Care Facilities promotes:

  • the safe, quality use of medicines
  • appropriate medication management in residential aged care
Last updated: 
31 January 2020

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