BSO project helping reduce agitation, ease transitions
Provincial initiative enhancing quality of lifeAugust 15, 2012
The Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) project is providing effective interventions that are reducing resident agitation and easing transitions into long-term care homes, say OMNI Health Care team members.
BSO is a $40-million provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through the province’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.
There is a direct correlation between agitation and quality of life, and the more long-term care homes can do to decrease agitation, the more quality of life is enhanced.
Through its involvement with BSO, Streamway Villa has decreased resident agitation by 50 per cent, says registered practical nurse/behavioural specialist nurse Sarah Wilson.
With this success has come reduction in restraint use and medication administration, adds Wilson, who was hired through funding provided for the BSO initiative.
Staff members have attended educational sessions aimed at reducing responsive behaviours, thanks to funding from the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
This includes PIECES (physical, intellectual, emotional, capabilities, environment and social), Montessori and U-First training.
Wilson and personal support worker Shannon LeBlanc have implemented best practices garnered from these sessions, including the intervention analysis tool that sees staff members write down the supportive measures they trial prior to giving a resident medication. They then chart the results.
This tool has also contributed to the successes.
“We’re taking a more holistic approach at managing (agitation), rather than resorting to medications,” says Wilson.
“We’ve gone to having almost no restraints in the home as well. We have one resident (who has) restraints and medication use has decreased huge.”
Like Streamway Villa, Frost Manor has been following BSO protocols. Administrator Connie Daly says the Frost Manor team has had success mitigating resident agitation by following BSO interventions.
When agitation does occur, staff members can also turn to BSO protocols, such as checking a resident’s urine to make sure there isn’t a urinary tract infection that’s causing agitation.
“So, when a (agitation) happens, (staff knows) to do this, or to do that, or don’t give (a resident) their bath if there has been a challenge on a bath day,” says Daly.
BSO interventions are also helping residents transition into long-term care. When a resident with a history of agitation recently moved into Riverview Manor, the home’s BSO team turned to BSO protocols to discover she likes Cheezies and dinosaurs.
RPN and BSO team member Angela Johnston says two important things she learned about the resident by spending time with her is that she loves Cheezies and was apprehensive at first about eating meat because she believed she was being served dinosaur meat — the resident, it turns out, loves dinosaurs.
Cheezies, notes Johnston, will immediately calm the resident if she experiences agitation. The team also assured the resident she would never be served dinosaur meat and as a sign of good faith they brought her a stuffed dinosaur. She’s now comfortable eating meat.
“She’s now quite happy here,” says Johnston.
If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
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