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Impediments to applying the ‘dignity of risk’ principle in residential aged care services


  • Disclaimer: The views and conclusions in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the persons interviewed during the preparation of this document or their organisations.

Correspondence to: Ms Marie-Claire Davis, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University. Email:


This discussion paper identifies four core factors currently impeding the application of the dignity of risk principle in residential aged care settings in Victoria, Australia: the fluctuating decision-making ability of residents; multiple participants in decision-making; discordance between espoused values and actions; and confusion and fear around legal responsibilities of care providers. Potential solutions identified include a conceptual shift in approach and consensus between key stakeholders, as well as more tangible solutions such as education and point-of-care decision support tools.