Concerns have been raised after figures revealed a sharp rise in Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) applications by care homes and hospitals.
DoL applications rose by 14% to 4,557 in 2018 with DoL orders up by 4% over the same period, according to the Ministry of Justice.
During the last quarter of 2018, DoL applications rose by 2% year on year to 1,052. DoL orders rose by 16% over the same period.
George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said: “What should be a measure of last resort is increasingly becoming more commonplace,” he said.
“Increasing numbers of older people, many of them extremely vulnerable, are being locked up, restrained or sedated. This leads us to seriously question how many are being wrongly deprived of their liberty.
“Depriving someone of their liberty can be a very frightening experience, one that we should avoid wherever possible by providing the best quality of care, and better training and support to care home workers. Sadly, this is becoming more and more difficult due to the government’s continuing failure to address the crisis in social care.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, added: “Every older person has the right to good, dignified care, including those who lack mental capacity because of dementia or for other reasons.
“We want a care system within which older people’s dignity and rights are upheld in a manner that is transparent and easy for everyone to understand.”
The figures were published as sector leaders continued to voice their opposition to changes to the Mental Capacity Act (Amendment) Bill currently making their way through Parliament (see Further Fire directed at Mental Capacity Act (Amendment) Bill).