Behavioural Supports Ontario seeks to help older adults with responsive behaviours that may be associated with dementia, and/or other neurological conditions, and their care partners.
Behavioural Supports Ontario does not define a specific age range since in some situations an “older” person could include adults with complex age related disorders who may not be over 65 years of age.
Responsive behaviours are actions, words and gestures that are a response to something important in a person's personal, social or physical environment (Alzheimer Society of Ontario, 2014). These behaviours are often a result of changes in the brain affecting memory, judgement, orientation and mood. Behavioural Supports Ontario recognizes that all behaviour has meaning and that responsive behaviours are often a form of communication of an unmet need.
Examples of responsive behaviours include: grabbing onto people, hitting/kicking, performing repetitious mannerisms, pacing/wandering, hurting self/others, cursing, screaming, sexually expressive behaviours, etc.
If you are providing care for an older adult with responsive behaviours, your wellbeing is essential. Taking on such a role can be challenging and can sometimes result in “caregiver burnout”. BSO Team Members can assist in suggesting self-care strategies and possible approaches to assist with communication.