University of Washington School of Medicine
Management of the agitated elderly patient represents one of the greatest challenges in geriatric medicine. Historically, the use of both physical and chemical restraints was widespread. In more recent years, legislation has been passed to encourage alternative means of management as restraint use may lead to increase morbidity and mortality. The following three cases are common scenarios where restraints may be considered. The cases and accompanying questions are intended to be used by faculty to lead a discussion on this topic.
After using this educational tool learners should be able to:
1. Describe what constitutes a physical or chemical restraint.
2. Differentiate when it is and is not appropriate to use a physical or chemical restraint in an elderly patient.
3. List alternatives to physical and chemical restraints.
4. Explain the dangers of physical and chemical restraints.