Dementia is a priority area for all countries as populations age and dementia prevalence increases. The use of physical restraint is a possible clinical practice for persons with dementia across settings when behaviours indicate a perceived need. Indeed, this may be the first choice in practice, occurring in part because of lack of education, safety concerns, perceived costs and staffing issues. This article reviews the literature on the issues surrounding, and use of, physical restraint for people with dementia, highlighting the rationales for use and the benefits and barriers to physical restraint. Recommendations include the importance of education and policy to reduce or eliminate physical restraint of persons with dementia to overcome identified barriers at the individual, cultural and organizational levels. An educational programme from the literature review is proposed specific to the reduction or elimination of physical restraint.