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Navigating Behaviours of Concern in Supported Living

In the world of supported living, each person we support’s journey is unique, and sometimes, that journey comes with its own set of challenges. We’re talking about behaviours of concern – those moments when things feel a bit tough to handle. At Seco Support, we believe that understanding and managing these behaviours is a crucial part of creating a positive and nurturing living environment. So, let’s dive into this topic and explore some strategies that can make the path smoother for everyone involved.

Understanding Behaviours Of Concern

First things first, what exactly are these behaviours of concern? They’re the behaviours that might seem out of the ordinary, like aggressive outbursts, withdrawal, self-harm, or disruptive actions. These behaviours often signal something deeper going on – a way for individuals to communicate when words might fail them. It’s important to remember that these behaviours aren’t just random; there’s usually a reason behind them.

Unpacking the Reasons

To effectively manage behaviours of concern, we need to get to the root of the issue. This involves understanding what triggers the behaviour and what purpose it might serve for the person we support. Is it a response to a change in routine, sensory overload, or an attempt to communicate a need? Taking the time to unravel these complexities can help caregivers respond with empathy and tailor their approach accordingly.

A Collaborative Approach

At Seco Support, we’re all about teamwork – and managing behaviours of concern is no different. We believe in involving everyone in the person we support’s circle of care: caregivers, family members, therapists, and the person themselves. Collaboration brings diverse perspectives, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the behaviour and its underlying causes.

Strategies for Management

So, how can we effectively manage these behaviours? Here are a few strategies that have proven to be helpful:

  1. Positive Behaviour Support (PBS): This approach focuses on understanding the function of the behaviour and developing proactive strategies to address it. It emphasises replacing behaviours of concern with more positive alternatives through skill-building and environmental modifications.
  • Communication Skills Training: For the people we support who struggle to express themselves verbally, teaching alternative communication methods like sign language, picture exchange systems, or even using technology can provide a healthier outlet for their emotions.
  • Structured Routine: Predictability can be comforting for many people we support. Establishing a structured daily routine can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of stability, minimising the likelihood of behaviours of concern.
  • Sensory Strategies: Sometimes, behaviours are triggered by sensory sensitivities. Creating a sensory-friendly environment and offering sensory tools can help people we support to regulate their emotions and responses.
  • Empathy and Validation: Showing genuine empathy and validating the person we support’s feelings can go a long way. It helps build trust and lets them know their emotions are acknowledged and understood.
  • Training and Support for Caregivers: Equipping caregivers with the skills to recognise triggers and implement effective strategies is crucial. Ongoing training ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to managing behaviours.

Patience and Progress

Managing behaviours of concern in supported living is a journey that requires patience, dedication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. It’s important to remember that progress might not always be linear, but small victories along the way are worth celebrating.

At Seco Support, we’re all about providing a safe and nurturing environment for the people we support to thrive in. Understanding and managing behaviours of concern is a vital aspect of this commitment. By seeking to understand the reasons behind these behaviours, collaborating with the support network, and implementing effective strategies, we can create an environment where the people we support feel valued, understood, and empowered to overcome challenges.

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