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Care of the older person
Better support and education is imperative to bolster informal at-home carers of people with cognitive impairment and reduce incidences of involuntary treatment of older adults in their homes
  1. Roberta Heale
  1. School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roberta Heale, Laurentian University School of Nursing, Sudbury ON P3E 2C6, Canada; rheale{at}

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Commentary on: Moermans VRA, Bleijlevens MHC, Verbeek H, et al. The use of involuntary treatment among older adults with cognitive impairment receiving nursing care at home: a cross-sectional study. Int J Nurs Stud 2018;88:135–42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.09.004.

Implications for practice and research

  • There is a need to develop better education and support for informal caregivers of people with cognitive impairment at home to reduce the use of involuntary treatment.

  • More research is needed about the effectiveness of programmes to reduce involuntary treatment of older adults in the home.


Consent for care is a foundational principle for healthcare professionals.1 Despite this, burgeoning research has shown that cognitively impaired older adults living and receiving care at home are at risk for ‘involuntary treatment’, or care without their consent. This includes things such as physical restraints, psychotropic medication andnon-consensual care …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.