Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Webinar Lets You Step into Residents’ Shoes for Better Behavior

Joanne Kaldy

Imagine this scenario. A certified nurse assistant (CNA) gives Mrs. Jones a cup of coffee. Mrs. Jones takes one sip, then throws the coffee at the CNA. While this behavior is upsetting, it may not be as mysterious or as difficult to address as one may think.

Barbara Speedling, quality of life specialist and presenter at an upcoming AHCA/NCAL webinar on “Toward Better Behavior: Yours, Mine, and Everyone Else’s,” suggests looking at it from Mrs. Jones’ perspective. “If you bring your own coffee to work because you don’t like the facility’s coffee, maybe Mrs. Jones doesn’t either, and this could explain her behavior,” she says. In this case, the solution might be to find a way to get her coffee or other beverages she will enjoy.

In her program, Speedling will provide a framework for developing an assessment process that results in a deeper understanding of what motivates someone to do what they do. “With greater understanding comes a more focused, personalized plan to accommodate the complicated needs of every individual,” she says. “I help people go away from the webinar thinking more about putting themselves in the place of the people they care for.”

To understand someone’s behavior, Speedling says, “You have to distinguish whether behaviors qualify as symptom, reaction, or personality.” For instance, if some behavior is part of someone’s personality—such as he or she is judgmental or sarcastic—that isn’t likely to change, and it would be a waste of time to try to change the person. Instead, she suggests, learn ways not to trigger negative behaviors that are related to the person’s personality.

It’s important to imagine what life in a skilled nursing center would be like for you, says Speedling. “Consider never being alone, never being able to do exactly what you want, when you want. No one can be fine all the time. No one can be expected never to be angry or get upset,” she says. “We have to realize that and address behavior accordingly.”

The webinar is set for 2:00 PM EST on February 20. Go to https://educate.ahcancal.org/p/190220 to register.

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