Pleasant Meadow applies for funding to hire PSW to bolster BSO program


BSO-trained staff have helped reduce psychotropic medications and enhanced residents’ quality of life

Pleasant Meadow Manor has applied to the province for a full-time personal support worker (PSW) to bolster the Norwood long-term care home’s involvement with the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) initiative.

The Ontario government on Aug. 18 announced its first of three annual $10-million instalments for the initiative, which provides education to long-term-care home staff members to help reduce responsive behaviours in residents affected by cognitive impairment and improve their quality of life.

“We are hoping that we’ll be granted (funding to hire a full-time PSW) to help us (provide more supports) to residents with responsive behaviours,” Chris Garden, Pleasant Meadow Manor’s life enrichment co-ordinator, tells The OMNIway.

“One resident with responsive behaviours can trigger responsive behaviours in other residents, and there’s just not enough (PSWs) to help.”

“Having (another BSO-trained PSW) would give residents additional one-on-one time they need. Right now, other staff members are trying to provide one-on-one time on top of their regular duties.”

Many Pleasant Meadow Manor staff members have been trained through the BSO initiative. Some of their training includes Montessori techniques, the Gentle Persuasive Approach (GPA) and P.I.E.C.E.S. (physical, intellectual, emotional, capabilities, environment and social).

BSO-trained staff is helping reduce responsive behaviours at Pleasant Meadow Manor, Garden says. Staff members seek advice from BSO team members before approaching charge nurses for medical interventions, “which makes a huge difference in the residents’ quality of life,” she adds.

There are two BSO training days in November, and Pleasant Meadow Manor is planning to send 24 staff members. There are currently seven members of the home’s BSO team.

“We’re trying to get as many staff educated (in BSO) as possible; we have quite a few staff members already trained, but we want to get those numbers higher,” Garden says.

OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy said in August that OMNI homes have benefited from BSO funding, which is allocated through the province’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

“We have seen some great results (from BSO),” he said. “We have seen the use of antipsychotic drugs being lowered in those homes (whose staff members have received BSO training), we have seen the number of incidents of aggressive behaviours being decreased and the number of critical incidents all being lowered, so (the BSO initiative) has had a measurable impact.”

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