Facility slammed for restraint use

A MERRYLANDS aged care home came under fire last week at the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, for its alleged use of drugs and restraints to deal with a dementia patient.

In a hearing in Sydney last Tuesday, the Commission heard how 72-year-old dementia patient Terry Reeves, who had a tendency to “wander”, was strapped upright to a chair with a belt for at least 30 times at the Garden View Nursing Home.
Mr Reeves’ family told the royal commission they had given limited permission for restraints to be used for one or two hours at a time as a “last resort” in order to keep him safe.
Counsel assisting the commission, Mr Gray, said there was “no doubt” that Mr Reeves presented some challenging behaviours to the facility which they had tried to manage.
“But then at a certain point, it seems to have become too difficult,” he said.
Mr Gray also alleged that the use of restraints had been “commonplace” at the aged care facility, Garden View, where Mr Reeves had spent six weeks in respite in 2018.
His wife Lillian told the commission she’d never consented to Garden View giving her husband a daily dose of risperidone, an antipsychotic drug which he’d previously experienced a poor reaction to.
“I wouldn’t have allowed that because I had firsthand knowledge of what it would do to him, and it was terrible. And it didn’t really help him anyway,” she said.
The Commission also heard evidence from registered nurse Jayanthi Kannan, director of nursing Kee Ling Lau and Drs Miles Burkitt and Keneth Wong who all worked at Garden View during Mr Reeve’s stay about the use of restraints and risperidone.
Dr Wong said Mr Reeves was at risk of falling when he wandered through the facility and restraints were used only after non-pharmaceutical attempts to modify his behaviour hadn’t worked.
However, during her evidence, Ms Lau accepted a suggestion from Mr Gray that Garden View did not do everything it could to investigate other options to manage Mr Reeves’ behaviour.