BSO team creates communication tools to share information, enhance residents’ quality of life

Frost Manor RN Brittney Sharpe is seen here looking at the home’s new white board.

New communication boards at Frost Manor helping all staff members prevent responsive behaviours

Frost Manor’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team has created new communication tools to help share information with other staff members from all departments to enhance quality of life for residents living with cognitive impairment.

Recently, the BSO team created a cork board and a white board at the Lindsay long-term care home to keep staff members up to date on information about residents exhibiting responsive behaviours.

The cork board is primarily used for educational purposes and providing updates about the BSO team. It contains information about what the BSO team calls the P.O.W. and B.O.W. – acronyms for policy of the week and behaviour of the week. Each week the team will post a new behaviour and policy to focus on.

There will also be information on metrics to provide a “BSO glimpse at a glance,” explains registered practical nurse and BSO team lead Justin Hills.

The cork board even contains success stories, such as Frost Manor’s recent initiative to add murals to the hallways to help residents with cognitive impairment navigate the home. The BSO newsletter is also posted on the board.

The second new communication tool is a white board with wooden doors secured with magnetic locks in the main hallway beside the staff room. The white board is designed to alert staff members of specific residents who are exhibiting behaviours. To keep the information confidential, residents are identified by numbers rather than names.

The board contains information about known behaviours, triggers and interventions that are divided into two categories: proven interventions and trial interventions.

“That’s there so that at a glance, the PSW (personal support worker) staff in particular who are coming on shift can open the board up and see the residents who we are tracking and can try using those interventions and letting us know if it was a positive or negative experience,” Justin says.

“This will give staff a better observation on the background history of the residents that we are looking at, so any staff member can have a better understanding of the resident,” Justin says.

The white board also provides information about ongoing projects the BSO team is working on to not only keep everyone up to date on interventions, but also allow others to give their input, Justin notes.

BSO is a 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 Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

This is Part 1 of a two-part story.

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