Friday, 19 June 2015

What can be done to minimise the impact of challenging behaviours?

Challenging behaviour occurs due to many physical and psychological issues. And physical and psychological issues are influenced by many factors such as dementia, schizophrenia, disability, autism, pain, grief, discrimination and even social exclusion. Challenging behaviour has a great impact on the person himself, others and in the community. It is essential to eliminate or minimise the impact of challenging behaviour in order to make community or workplace safer. There is a vital role you can play to eliminate or minimise this kind of behaviour or the impact of this kind of behaviour while you are supporting people in their daily needs.
Observation and documentation: Observation is the most important part of this procedure. You have to observe the behaviours and document the kind of behaviour, person is exhibiting. Same kind of behaviour a person may not exhibit all that time. Observation is required to determine the kind of behaviour and documentation is required to keep record of different behaviours, incidence, evaluate behaviours and to determine and attributing strategies.
Determine Trigger: A person’s challenging behaviour may exhibit for many reasons that we often define as trigger. Part of your observation is to determine the trigger of this kind of behaviour. To determine trigger you must have to observe what happened right before the behaviour and what makes a person to exhibit this kind of behaviour. Author Foisal Talukdar’s Psychological Explanation: Let’s suppose a person has a speech difficulties because of dementia. Stopping the person while stammering to tell you something or directing to other topics may lead to a punch, verbal abuse or if unable to do so, decent amount of spit on your face. Trigger is not that he has speech difficulties. Trigger is your action because of the lack of your knowledge and skills.
Consider the impact of behaviour on the person himself and others: A person’s challenging behaviour may not only put significant changes on himself alone but also on others behaviour. A person himself may become more aggressive, may cause harm to himself and others. Others may react the same way or cause a conflict or become secluded. Few of the following impact may occur on person himself or others and on the wider community:
Ø  Verbal Abuse
Ø  Physical Harm
Ø  Financial Harm (Such as breaking furniture, windows, doors, television and any objects that require money to acquire)
Ø  Phobia
Ø  Low self-esteem
Ø  Withdrawn
Strategies to respond challenging behaviour: After you determine the trigger and impact of specific challenging behaviour, you can make strategies to respond it. Strategies will depend on the kind of behaviour, trigger to such behaviour and the level of impact on everyone is involved. Different strategies should be made for different kind of behaviour. Also different strategies for the repeated behaviour if the trigger is different. Strategies may include the followings –
Distraction: Distraction may sometimes help to minimise challenging behaviour as it helps the person to forget current event or divert thoughts to another fact or event and forget the cause of anger. Distraction may not work on every person. It depends on individual’s circumstances, triggers and medical conditions.
Current Event or Activities: As we all know that an idle brain is a devil’s workshop. Engaging every individual to activities or current events helps their brain to occupy with something useful and stop them to exhibiting challenging behaviour. Also talking about current events that may result in disturbing behaviour can help discouraging a person from doing it. It is all depend on individual’s mental capability, medical condition and all other circumstances. Therefore, keen observation and understanding is required. Music is one of the most common effective activities which may help a person to relieve from stress, depression, anger and griefs. Also talking about favourite topics and past may help a person to avoid thinking about aggression.
Addressing Physical Trigger: If the person’s challenging behaviour because of physical pain, then you have to identify the cause of pain. You may need to discuss with doctors and other professional to find out therapy or if there is any then alternative therapy to eliminate or reduce the person’s physical pain.
Remember if trigger is eliminated then challenging behaviour will be reduced or eliminated unless a person is in serious mentally ill condition. After making strategies you have to document strategies in care plan then implement to follow strategies. Regular review is required to ensure strategies are effective for the person. Otherwise different strategies need to be made. If strategies are not effective, readdressing the trigger and impact are needed and different strategies have to be made.

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