Deprivation of liberty

For us, care and assistance means showing the people entrusted to us respect, while addressing all of their needs and preserving their faculties. Our duty is to help your family members and persons in care to lead independent lives by fostering their independence while protecting them from harm.

Zero per cent use of liberty-depriving measures

We are committed to an approach that tries to avoid any measures involving deprivation of liberty (DoL). And our efforts show that this is almost always possible. 

We trust in a variety of alternatives to DoL in order to preserve the dignity and personal freedom of the residents entrusted to our care. 

What are measures involving deprivation of liberty?

All actions that restrict a person’s freedom of movement are regarded as deprivation of liberty measures. This includes the administration of medication and mechanical means of restriction. Deprivation of liberty for your family member or person in care is subject to prior order by the mental health court.


A court order approving DoL merely constitutes permission, but not an obligation to apply said measures. These must be confined to an absolute minimum and may only be conducted for as long as the prerequisites for their use are constituted. All alternatives must be examined before such measures are resorted to.

Balancing accident protection and personal freedom

The concern for physical integrity conflicts with the respect for personal freedom. Both these fundamental rights are important aspects of how we perceive quality of life. At MÜNCHENSTIFT, we do our utmost to ensure the autonomy of individuals susceptible to self-harming and, if possible, to preserve their freedom of movement. It is important to us that, if possible, your family members and persons in care take an active part in daily life. 

  • DoL, such as wheelchair restraint, may result in loss of mobility and motor skills, as well as agitation and other mental impairment.
  • DoL is not a suitable means of avoiding accidents or falls, as it does not assuage the basic need for movement and thus frequently carries an additional risk of injury. Attempts to leave a bed with bed rail, for instance, may lead to a fall and serious damage to health.

Alternative measures - creative and individual

We take your concerns seriously and involve you in the care process from the outset. Together, we devise an approach that strikes a balance between safety and physical integrity and the need for self-determination. In individual case meetings with all those involved in the care and assistance process, we seek alternative ways of preventing any harm. The quality officers in our residences are also available to provide advice. 

For many years, MÜNCHENSTIFT has invested in a generous selection of suitable aids including low beds, cosy chairs, movement sensors, sensor mats and body comforters. 

At the same time, alternative methods for avoiding DoL are used and continuously developed, such as: 

  • Kinesthetics: Training of movement competence through self-perception
  • Strength and balance training
  • Animal-based therapy
  • Day-structuring measures
  • Escorted walks with volunteers
  • Music-making and singing
  • Biography work
  • Basal stimulation: stimulating primary physical and movement experiences
  • Activation of body tension
  • Validation: communication boosting self-esteem

Our nurses and care assistants take part in ongoing training and courses to raise their awareness while learning how to use methods creatively and responsibly in an individual and effective approach.