DoLs ruling defies common sense
Caring Times letters, June 2014
Are we confused about the this ruling regarding deprivation of liberty for clients with dementia (CT, May 2014)? I should say so. It seems unfair to place the blame for the DoL of a person at the door of the care home when it is actually the illness such as dementia that has taken aware the person’s ability to make rational decisions and not the care home.
We are told by inspectors, families and the law that we have a “duty of care” to ensure a person is safe and not at risk of harm to themselves or others. We do this by monitoring their whereabouts and ensuring they don’t walk out on to a busy road. But now I am told that those risk assessments I have in place to ensure a person’s safety are depriving them of their liberty.
So what is it I am doing? Am I keeping a person who can not judge danger, safe or am I depriving that person of leaving the home with out an escort. It seems we are wrong which ever we choose. If this ruling is allowed to go ahead then we should think about all those incapacitated people in hospital; are they being deprived of their liberty?
Schools do not allow children out unsupervised; are they being deprived of their liberty? We need to remember that it is the illness that has deprived the person of their liberty and not the care home. We are looking after the symptoms and ensuring a person’s safety.
As for a resident being able to decide where they reside, surely that is the family’s responsibility, especially if they have enduring power of attorney – it is not something we home owners get involved with. We offer the service but we do not make them take it.
I do not intend to rush in and apply for a DoLs assessment for my dementia clients, as to do so will make it seem like this ruling is right when any one with common sense can see that it is not. I urge all other care home owners not to rush into making these applications, except in circumstances where you would have done so anyway.
– Jayne Arithoppah Sheldon Lodge RCH