The Elderly - Leaders in the Field of Care for the Aging
Untie the Elderly, a program of Kendal Outreach, has evolved out of a rich history that began in 1973 with the opening of Kendal at Longwood, the first Kendal continuing care retirement community. Kendal at Longwood was established with a commitment to a better way of life for individuals as they aged. At a time when use of restraints in long term care was the norm, Kendal staff operated the health center completely restraint-free. As their commitment to restraint free care was affirmed, staff began to share their successes with others in the field, welcoming other professionals to visit the community and learn about this restraint-free approach to care.
In 1986, Kendal staff presented the first program on restraint-free care at the annual meeting of the American Association of Homes for the Aging, and Untie the Elderly was born. In 1989, Untie the Elderly® became a registered trademark of The Kendal Corporation. That year The Kendal Corporation and the Senate Committee on Aging cosponsored a U.S. Senate symposium on the elimination of physical restraints in the care of older persons. Subsequent federal legislation furthered the process of eliminating restraint use.
Today, Untie the Elderly® records 215 programs presented in 35 states and Canada. The contact list includes 50 states, Puerto Rico, Italy, Australia, Israel, and three Provinces of Canada. Media recognition for the restraint elimination program has come from Diane Sawyer on ABC News, NBC News’ American Agenda, and an April 1994 article by Michael Romano, “Unshackling the Elderly,” in the magazine Contemporary Long Term Care. The 20th anniversary issue of the same publication profiled Untie the Elderly founder Jill Blakeslee as one of 20 people who has made a difference in long term care.
Over the years, many organizations have benefited from Kendal's assistance as they worked to achieve their own restraint elimination. Providers have seen that, as they create restraint-free environments, a new enthusiasm evolves among their staffs, encouraging more individualized approaches to care and increased job satisfaction.
Untie the Elderly is now a program of Kendal Outreach, which was incorporated in 2003 by The Kendal Corporation in order to provide an appropriate structure for the significant growth and increasing variety of its outreach programs. Kendal's operational philosophy is rooted in the Quaker values of respect for the individual, community, equality, and financial integrity. Our long-standing commitment to maintaining the autonomy and dignity of the frail, elderly person through resident-centered care underlies our dedication to promote the well-being and quality of life of those served. Kendal Outreach® LLC has a staff of full and part time professionals who collaborate with colleagues in provider and research organizations all across the United States, as well as internationally, to elevate the quality of professional practice in our field and thereby contribute to advancing the well being of older people. You can learn more by reading our Values and Standards and our 30th Anniversary Annual Report.
Untie the Elderly, as an initiative, strives to:
- increase awareness of the damaging effects of physical restraints;
- offer support and expertise to facilities interested in implementing a non-restraint policy;
- influence legislators and public policy, thus impacting the quality of care in nursing facilities on a national level.