For more than a decade, I have regularly stated in writing or verbally that I believe people living in residential care facilities with locked doors, or in secure dementia units, are locked in jail, and that the only other people who are also routinely locked in jail are convicted criminals.
Secure dementia units also equate to confinement, as well as segregation.
I still believe this.
My father on law, who had Lewy Body Dementia asked why we had ‘locked him in jail’, every time we visited him over a period of more than three years.
The guilt trip of the Century in this house…
It is also a large part of why people experience so many symotoms of distress, that have been so harmfully labelled as the Behavioural and Psychological Symptom of Dementia (BPSD), and why I am so passionate about banning BPSD.
Being physcially restrained, has also caused a second form of unlawful restraint, which we know as chemical restraint.
Anyway, I’ve been reviewing a number of articles I’ve been invovled in co authoring or writing, and doing a lot of other research on the topic, and today highlight a part of one article, Questioning Segregation of People Living with Dementia in Australia: An International Human Rights Approach to Care Homes.
“Confining people living with dementia within residential aged care facilities through locked doors and gates can be framed as a violation of the right to liberty and security of the person, provided for by Article 14(1)(a) of the CRPD (Pyaneandee 2019, p. 25).
The UN Disability Committee has identified the right to liberty and security of the person as ‘one of the most precious rights to which everyone is entitled’ particularly for people with cognitive disabilities (UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities UN Disability Committee, para. 3), and Article 14 has been identified by dementia advocacy organisations as a significant right, particularly for individuals with late- and end-stage dementia (Batsch et al. 2017).
Deprivation of liberty occurs when individuals ‘are confined to a restricted space or placed in an institution or setting, not free to leave, and without free and informed consent’ (Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2019, para. 40).
Article 14 requires that States Parties ensure that people with disabilities, on an equal basis with others ‘[e]njoy the right to liberty and security of person’ and ‘[a]re not deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily, and that any deprivation of liberty is in conformity with the law, and that the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty’.
Confining people living with dementia through locked doors and gates inside DCUs, within the entire care home building, or within the outer perimeter of the care home grounds, constitutes deprivation of liberty.
Residents with dementia do not have the freedom to leave the premises when they choose because they do not have access to the means to unlock the doors and gates (Smith and Sullivan 2012).
This deprivation of liberty is unlawful where there is no legal order in place permitting this deprivation of liberty and, as discussed in Part 2 above, it is widely understood that, in some jurisdictions, locking occurs without routinely seeking consent.”
Read the full article here.
 Steele, L.; Swaffer, K.; Phillipson, L.; Fleming, R. Questioning Segregation of People Living with Dementia in Australia: An International Human Rights Approach to Care Homes. Laws 2019, 8, 18.