Dementia Support Australia has released a toolkit of resources to support aged care homes meet new behaviour support plan requirements aimed at minimising the use of restraints in residential aged care.

DSA is funded by the Commonwealth Government to support people whose dementia-related behaviour impacts their care through a range of services including the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and Severe Behaviour Response Teams.

The toolkit, which includes guidelines, templates and resources, has been released this week to coincide with new laws to minimise the use of chemical, environmental, mechanical and physical restraint and seclusion.

The 1 September changes require providers to have behaviour support plans in place for every resident displaying behaviours of concern or changed behaviours, or where restrictive practices are being considered, applied or used as part of their care under the Quality of Care Principles.

The toolkit includes:

  • information on understanding the behaviour support process
  • a guide to putting a behaviour support plan together
  • a flowchart to support homes respond to changed behaviour.

Dementia Services Australia head of clinical services Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane said  restraint is not the most effective way of dealing with behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Stephen Macfarlane

He said the behaviours can sometimes feel challenging but they may be the only thing people in a powerless situation have left to communicate with.

“But such behaviours are often the result of distress, a signal that they have an unmet need or that they are in an unwelcome situation,” Associate Professor Macfarlane said.

He said psychosocial or non-pharmacological therapies as provided by DSA to aged care providers nationally are the “gold standard” for interventions rather than restraint.

Access the behaviour support plan resources.

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