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Challenging behaviour is a very common problem in older people with dementia. It can increase caregiver stress, reduce the quality of life and increase the risk of institutionalisation and admission to hospital.
Ann joined us in 2017 after spending several years in mainstream residential care. Unfortunately, this form of care was found to be ineffectual and Ann was unhappy in this environment. She often became aggressive and violent with staff and others around her, the staff refused to engage with her and she became isolated. This increased the frequency of Ann’s challenging behaviours and resulted in her being asked to leave, this left her without the support she and her family needed.
Our specialist team at Burton spent many hours working one to one with Ann getting to know her and her family. Trying to understand her personality and attempting to recognise patterns and triggers which would lead to inappropriate behaviour. Our specialist nurses and psychologist looked at what factors could be causing these outbursts:
In this way, they were able to make clear and actionable observations and isolate clues to be leading to Ann’s challenging behaviour. Once the team had identified the triggers they were then able to put together a Behaviour Intervention Plan. Nurse Joanne explained that “once we got to know Ann we were able to investigate what the issues were and how to deal with them. This job is a part nurse and part detective. We followed the clues and realised that the best way to reduce Ann’s triggers was to do something she had always loved. Through experimentation, we found that if we played 1950’s and 1960’s popular music her behaviours lessened and she became calm. Her violent outbursts have become less frequent and she is no longer poses a threat to herself or the people around her. Her dementia means that she has forgotten most of the words to the songs, but she still hums along and this is enough for Ann to feel in control and relaxed.”
Ann is now settled into our community, she takes part in group activities when she wants to and spends time alone now when she needs to and not because of her behaviours. At Towerview Care we strive to make sure that each and everyone is understood and treated as individuals. We do not believe that one treatment fits all and work hard to make sure that everyone feels safe and cared for.