What is a Least Restrictive Alternative?
Least Restrictive Alternative means a setting, a program, or a course of action that puts as few limits as possible on a person’s rights and individual freedoms while, at the same time, meeting the person’s care and support needs. These usually occur outside of guardianship.
“The best and most respectful way to minimize harm, increase the prospect of a quality life, and provide advocacy is not the removal of someone’s rights.”
Katz, M. Retrieved from:
A least restrictive alternative allows an adult to retain full independence and decision-making authority over some or all of his or her life. Least restrictive alternatives do not require a court order or court monitoring or oversight.
Some examples of least restrictive alternatives:
- more help from family members & friends,
- more support from community programs, such as Meals on Wheels or Homemakers,
- money management methods not requiring a court order, &
- mediation, which increases communication & family involvement to help family members reach an agreement or consensus on how best to support an adult they are worried about.
Note: If you know that you are unable to seek a least restrictive alternative, skip to the middle ground alternatives, which may be more like your situation.