Curando: persoonsgerichte zorg
Implementation of a person-centered approach on team level in residents with dementia and symptoms of agitation or aggression.
Eighty percent of residents with dementia of nursing homes display difficult behaviour, often an active expression of unfulfilled needs. This results in numerous ways of difficult behaviour, among which agitation and aggression are the more frequent ones. Professional caregivers experience agitation and aggression as very stressful.
Two researches investigated a non-pharmacological approach of dealing with difficult behaviour of residents with dementia, including the entire staff of a department. The Neuro Pyschiatric Inventory determined whether or not residents displayed difficult behaviour. The first research (2016) offered residents reminiscence sessions for 23 weeks. However, the previously proven positive effects of reminiscence were not confirmed. The other research (2017) only included residents with agitation and/or aggression. A few steps were added to the design, such as an analysis of the behaviour and the underlying needs. Depending on that need, the residents received aromatic hand massages, music therapy or an individual and meaningful activity over a period of fourteen days. Interestingly, the degree of difficult behaviour, agitation and aggression decreased significantly this time – even though emotions such as fear became more visible.
In spite of professionals in residential care centres becoming more aware of the importance of individual care, the implementation on team level proves to be difficult and dependent on various actors on which we focus. This research proves that a mere behavioural approach is not effective enough. Discovering the underlying need of residents and addressing that need appropriately is an important step toward more individual care.