Village Green BSO team members making a positive impact on residents and families

Village Green health-care aide Sylvia O’Brien (left) and RPN Denise Simpson (right) work on the home’s Behavioural Supports Ontario team.

The work BSO team does improving quality of life for LTC home’s residents is also getting noticed in the community

Village Green’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team is not only improving the lives of the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s residents, the team is also getting noticed in the community.

The BSO team collaborates to prevent responsive behaviours in residents with cognitive impairment rather than addressing situations as they arise. Preventing agitation is key to enhancing the quality of life for people living at Village Green, BSO team members say.

“It has been a huge change for all of us because we are no longer looking at task-orientated shifts,” says registered practical nurse (RPN) and BSO team member Denise Simpson.

“Now we’re taking a step back and looking at the whole person” to better understand what might be causing a responsive behaviour, she adds.

In late 2016, Village Green was awarded funding from the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to add a part-time RPN and personal support worker (PSW) to the BSO team.

Denise and health-care aide Sylvia O’Brien were selected for the positions.

Initially, the LHIN asked Village Green to create one position with the funding, but Village Green director of care Debbie McTaggart insisted that having an extra team member would help spread information better. The LHIN agreed, and Debbie says the result has been “extremely successful.”

The OMNIway recently shared the success story of a resident whose agitation was stemmed after the BSO team created an activity calendar she helped create with the team. Small interventions like this that are making a huge impact on residents, say Denise, Sylvia and Debbie.

Denise says Village Green’s nurse practitioner has noticed the positive impact the BSO team has had on residents. In fact, the nurse practitioner has approached team members about their methodology for enhancing the quality of life for residents because she wants to share that know-how with the other homes she visits that are having issues with responsive behaviours, Denise says.

Debbie adds that the BSO team has also been working with families to help identify agitation triggers and engaging them in the processes the team uses to enhance the quality of life for residents.

The team’s work, she adds, has also caught the attention of people in the community.

“It’s not just other homes coming to them, it’s other people in the community saying, ‘you need to go to Village Green because they are doing a really great job.’ ”

BSO is a provincial initiative to help enhance the 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 LHINs, is largely put towards staff education.

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