Responsive behaviours, restraints, medication use decreasing at Streamway Villa

Participation in Behavioural Supports in Ontario project credited for results

June 20, 2012 -- Deron Hamel 

COBOURG, Ont. - Incidents of responsive behaviours, such as aggression, wandering, physical resistance and agitation, have decreased more than 50 per cent at Streamway Villa in the past month, restraint use is down to one resident and medication administration is declining.

These successes have been largely made possible by the Cobourg long-term care home’s participation in the Behavioural Supports in Ontario (BSO) project.

Through the BSO project, Streamway Villa has hired registered practical nurse/behavioural specialist nurse Sarah Wilson and provided her and personal support worker Shannon LeBlanc with training to offer supports to residents prone to responsive behaviours.

These residents generally have conditions related to addiction, brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.

The BSO project also has enabled staff members to attend 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 LeBlanc have implemented best practices, such as the intervention analysis tool, where 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 responsive behaviours, 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.

“We were actually very shocked by the results. The results prove that this is working.”

Money received from the funding has also gone towards building what Wilson and LeBlanc call a “BSO cupboard,” a wooden cabinet stocked with sensory objects that preoccupy residents and minimize responsive behaviours.

These objects include everything from dolls to magazines individually suited for residents. For example, there is one resident who was an avid fisherman, so there are fishing magazines in the cabinet for him to read.

“Prior to having a responsive behaviour we give him a magazine that he enjoys reading, and it’s amazing, you don’t have the behaviour anymore,” says Wilson.

Wilson and LeBlanc are also taking the training they’ve been provided a step further by attending conferences and teaching other caregivers from long-term care homes that have not received BSO funding about the best practices they’ve learned.

“We are trying to get it across that this is working,” says Wilson.

This story was first posted on the OMNI Health Care website - see