Village Green BSO team stemming responsive behaviours, sharing knowledge

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

The referral process the home uses is making everyone’s job easier and creating a stronger team

SELBY, Ont. – In the year and a half since Village Green was awarded funding from the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) for a part-time registered practical nurse (RPN) and personal support worker (PSW) to add to the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team, the Greater Napanee long-term care home has been able to stem responsive behaviours and also share valuable knowledge.

Since then, health-care aide Sylvia O’Brien and RPN Denise Simpson have been attending educational sessions and sharing what they learn with other members of Village Green’s BSO team and even with other homes in the area.

Initially, the LHIN asked Village Green to create one position with the funding, but 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.”

Village Green has a referral process for staff members to go through if they notice responsive behaviours in residents affected by cognitive impairment.

“We look at referrals, we help with referrals to outside agencies (and) we work one-on-one with residents who are having responsive behaviours for one reason or another,” Sylvia says. “We get down to the bottom of why that might be happening. We look at their past and we look at any traumatic experiences they might have.”

Denise says this process is making everyone’s job easier and creating a stronger team at Village Green.

“We got tons of education in the first part of last year and we just went with it, and we have been able to expand it and teach a lot of our staff how to do things and they have been on board with it,” she says.

In fact, other long-term care homes have approached Village Green’s BSO team to ask about their approach to preventing behaviours so they can learn.

“So, we have set the path so they don’t have to go through the challenges,” Denise says.

Sylvia, who has worked at Village Green for 24 years, works four shifts per week on the floor in addition to her BSO team duties. This, she says, provides her with a unique perspective because she can see the results of the BSO team’s efforts first-hand.

“It’s the best of both worlds; I can see if what we’re doing is helping and if there is something I see we haven’t caught, and Denise also works on the floor as well, so it gives us insight from both ends,” she says.

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 LHINs, is largely put towards staff education.

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