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Social worker says she’s learning more about dementia through her role with BSO team

Social worker Laura Johnstone, pictured above, is working with Riverview Manor’s BSO team.

Laura Johnstone says a greater understanding of the condition can lead to preventing responsive behaviours

Laura Johnstone says the key thing she’s learning in her role as a social worker with the Riverview Manor Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team is the impact dementia has on the Peterborough long-term care home’s residents. Read more

Streamway’s new RPN-BSO’s experience has made new role a ‘smooth transition’

Administrator Kylie Szczebonski discusses the strengths Kristyn Skitch brings to the position

Streamway Villa administrator and director of care Kylie Szczebonski says Kristyn Skitch has made a “smooth transition” into her new role as the Cobourg long-term care home’s RPN-BSO. Read more

BSO continues to demonstrate value

A glimpse at what’s working well

October 11, 2013 — Deron Hamel

The Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) program, the provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation, is proving to be one of the most fruitful interventions the sector has seen recently.

OMNI Health Care homes have certainly seen the benefit of this program, which is funded to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks. Funding is largely put towards staff education.

There has been $55 million in provincial funding provided for BSO during the past two fiscal years.

In a Sept. 16 OMNIway article, registered practical nurse Allison Fairweather, Country Terrace’s BSO lead, commended the program for helping the Komoka long-term care home reduce its rate of responsive behaviours by half since the home began using methods derived from training made possible through the funding.

The home’s care team also sees the program’s value.

“They have to see it to believe it, but once they do, they’re hooked,” she says, adding it is rewarding to see her colleagues climb on board the BSO ship. “I find what helps the most is having someone show you exactly how it is done,” she adds.

This is just the latest BSO success story at OMNI; other OMNI homes have also seen benefits from the program.

In 2012, Riverview Manor in Peterborough reported a 35.5 per cent decrease in responsive behaviours, with a 34.4 per cent decline in PRN medication administration since it launched the program.

Pharmaceuticals considered PRN medications include psychotropic and anti-anxiety medications as well as sedatives.

At Forest Hill in Kanata, intentional decisions to reduce the use of restraints to keep residents safe resulted not only in fewer falls, but also in reduced agitation and anxiety.

At Streamway Villa in Cobourg, use of Montessori activities with residents who have dementia helped reduce as-needed use of psychotropic drugs from 63 per month to one.

The OMNIway will continue to share success stories from the BSO initiative.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051 or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

– With files from Jeanne Pengelly