What is a Least Restrictive Alternative?

Least Restrictive Alternatives Chart

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.

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