We are revisiting an important topic shared with our caregivers by Greg Fowers with Provo Canyon Behavioral Hospital regarding dealing with difficult behaviors in caregiving.    See Dealing with Difficult Behaviors in Caregiving — Part 1

3. What to do when a client is agitated: 

  • Stay safe! Stay outside of arms reach.
  • Take a step back and give the client personal space. They may not know how to express themselves and it is up to you to observe if they are getting agitated or upset.
  • Use a distraction such as asking questions. Example — Did you enjoy working at the school? What did you do there? Did you make a lot of friends? Redirect them down a new path and then distract or redirect them to another activity.

4.  What to do when tasks need to be done:

  • Conversation is a good way to direct the client to where you need them to go or what you need them to do. The more you know the client the better this works. Understanding what subjects to use or avoid and what triggers them or makes them happy is important as well.
  • Allow them to keep their dignity.
  • Understand if they do not like to be touched.
  • Decide what is important and what is most important.
    • A meal is important. Dignity, safety, and health are the most important. 
    • Doctor’s appointments can be rescheduled if the client is having a bad day.
  • We always want our clients to maintain their dignity, independence, and happiness. We do not want to force our clients to do any particular task. They are still adults and deserve a say in what they want and need.

5. Share what you learn!

  • Communicate well with the care team. What is working and what is challenging for your client? It’s always better to over-communicate than to under-communicate!
  • Documentation is essential and should be done frequently.

Remember, staying safe and keeping your client safe are top priorities at all times!

Dealing with Difficult Behaviors in Caregiving — Part 2
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