In the last instalment of this 4-part blog series during World Alzheimer’s Month, we discuss the importance of training when faced with challenging behaviour in dementia care that requires physical skills such as breakaway, safe-holding and restraint.
The final strategy of the positive model cannot be ignored or forgotten. Sometimes it is necessary to implement responsive measures to negative outbursts. It is crucial for these skills to be trained; as they are eventually the last line a care giver has available if any situation escalates to a level of violence and aggression. Training should focus on re-direction, validation, distraction and de-escalation skills, before other approaches are required. It is key, that incidence do not trigger an immediate response to physical forms of safe restraint before the last line of attempting to calm the patient down is tried. However, should these reassuring strategies be ineffective, it should be noted that the last resort strategies should be taught and available if the care receiver becomes physical with staff or others. Just as fire extinguishers are a last resort but needed, so too are physical skills, not doing is short sighted and ignorant, just as not training staff to use extinguishers when appropriate would be. What staff may need include defensive skills, breakaway techniques and safe holding techniques but there is a lack of these strategies being taught. These are low risk physical techniques that pose very little risk to either staff or the dementia patient but are effective in protection against injury for both staff and patient. These techniques should be taught by a reputable training organisation with approved medically risk assessment techniques in line with standards outlined by Nice guidelines and Department of health standards.
Overall, the violence faced in care institutions is more widespread than anyone could think. In a Ministerial report from the Department of Health on violence in care, lists that: there is a lack of clarity around what constitutes violence or abuse, staff are unclear of the next steps following an incident, some staff may fear that admitting to a violent incident will reflect badly on their competencies and an active avoidance of paperwork, all contribute to mass avoidance of reporting these instances as and when they occur. It is essential, that proper training should be given to all care staff to break this problem with confidence. To boost the quality of dementia care using this positive model, which avoids violence by promoting key proactive methods as described and to boost the transparency of the problems faced by staff in care institutions in order to fully necessitate proper reforms.
This is the final instalment of a 4-part blog series during World Alzheimer’s Month. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog series during World Alzheimer’s Month. #WorldAlzMonth
If you require training in dealing with violence & aggression in dementia care, please visit our managing challenging behaviour or positive behavioural support courses. We also offer a Dementia Awareness course.