It’s an uncomfortable image to consider: an elderly person – perhaps somebody you know – physically restrained. Maybe an aged care resident deemed likely to fall has been bound to his chair using wrist restraints; or someone with dementia acting aggressively has been confined to her bed by straps and rails. These scenarios remain a reality in Australia.
Despite joining the global trend to promote a “restraint free” model, Australia is one of several high income countries continuing to employ...
Professor Joseph Ibrahim
Professor Joseph Ibrahim is Head, Health Law and Ageing Research Unit, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and contributes to the research and teaching activities of the Centre of Research Excellence in Patient Safety, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. Joseph is also an Adjunct Professor, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, La Trobe University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Joseph has extensive clinical experience and continues an active role as a practising Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine and is the Clinical Director of the Subacute Services at the Ballarat Health Service. In 2002, Joseph started researching the role of medico-legal death investigations for improving workplace, patient and resident safety and continues with a several projects examining quality of clinical care, quality of aged care, promoting dignity of risk, patient safety and human factors, performance indicators and effects of extreme heat on health in older persons. Currently, Joseph and his team investigating injury prevention for residents living in aged care services. The doctoral candidates with his Unit are investigating preventable deaths from suicide and resident-to-resident aggression; deaths from choking and; barriers to implementing dignity of risk. He is the current editor of the Residential Aged Care Communiqué, the consultant editor for the Clinical Communiqué and a former regional editor for the International Journal for Quality in Health Care (2000-2004). Joseph continues to publish widely in international peer-reviewed journals and received media attention for research into premature deaths of nursing home residents and promoting risk taking for enhancing quality of life.
A surprising group of people stand to benefit from the aged care royal commission, whose hearings start today. These are residents of nursing homes in the far future — people in their 50s and 60s, and their children. How is that possible?
All current nursing home residents the royal commission was established to help will have died before there is any substantive change.
The latest statistics show there are 207,142 older people living in 2,695 facilities owned by 902 different providers. These providers...