Dignity of Risk

Aged Care Quality Standard 1 – Consumer Dignity and Choice

It is human nature for us to care and to want to ensure that people closest to us are safe.  We must also recognise that everyone is an individual and once we become adults, we should be able to make decisions about our day to day lives.

There is often a dilemma that exists for people who care for the elderly, whether they are family or caregivers. Over-protection generally comes out of the best intentions however it can keep people from being all they are meant to be. Excessive limitations and not enabling them to have choice can deplete the life of a loved one and lead to a loss of dignity and purpose.

The term ‘dignity of risk’ is based on the belief that independence, self-determination and the right to make choices, including the right to take reasonable risks is essential for dignity and self-esteem. This applies to all people irrespective of age and ability.

People caring for the elderly need to find that balance between dignity of risk and duty of care.

This takes an understanding that having a ‘duty of care’ is not about creating restrictions for the people we care for, it is about giving them options, respecting their autonomy and dignity in making choices. It is about realising the freedom to make their own choice may expose them to a level of risk.

Under the Aged Care Quality Standards, Moran has responsibility to involve our residents and to look at how they can make choices and remain as independent as possible, with this includes the ability to take risks, as safely as possible without limiting their decisions. We would like to support family members and carers, to have these discussions with their loved ones and encourage you to reach out to our team if assistance is required.

As we work through the new standards and supporting our residents in their life choices, residents and/or their representatives may be asked to complete and Dignity of Risk form in some instances. We would appreciate your input and support should such circumstances arise.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact the Care Manager or General Manager at your Moran home.

Lady in Aged Care

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