Understanding Resident’s Needs

Understanding Resident’s Needs Leads to Meaningful, Effective Interventions

Based on the true story, below, the sentence “It is in non-meaningful interventions that we observe the most inappropriate behavior.” means that when interventions or actions taken to assist the resident do not align with his personal habits, preferences and needs, they can often be ineffective and can lead to negative reactions or behaviors.

Here’s the story…

The following is a true account of the positive outcomes we can achieve when we work at understanding resident’s needs. It was sent to us by a person trained in the Montessori Alzheimer method as a testimonial to how well it works:

“I have a man in an advanced dementia care unit who is showing signs of aggression and breaking everything in sight.

To fully understand this resident’s needs, I met the man’s daughter-in-law, who has known him for several years. It was a most rewarding meeting. She was able to introduce me to her father-in-law as he really is (was). With all the information I’d gathered, I was able to approach the floor nurse about medication for his anxiety. She was able to shed light on the reasons for certain problems, such as the fact that he urinates everywhere. He thought this was normal because he had always worked in the woods. He didn’t use the toilet even at home, he urinated outside. Based on the lifestyle habits she told me about, I understood his need to chew something. I offered him a chewing tube and he thanked me for it. What’s more, a meeting with the nutritionist enabled me to explain to her that he doesn’t necessarily feel full (he’s always hungry), so she changed his menu to make it more supportive.

The importance of getting to know the person well is vital if interventions are to be put in place that are meaningful to the person. It is in non-meaningful interventions that we see the most inappropriate behavior.

The way in which we approach the person and offer them guidance rather than doing things for them is essential to their well-being. The person feels listened to and important.”

~ Anick, Educational Specialist, LTC Home

Understanding Resident’s Needs is Crucial to Recommending Solutions to Responsive Behaviors

The story provides several examples of how understanding the resident’s background and personal habits leads to more meaningful and effective interventions.

For instance, knowing that the resident has always urinated outside due to his work in the woods helped explain his behavior and led to a more compassionate approach.

Similarly, recognizing his need to chew on something and providing a “chewing tube” addressed a specific need, reducing anxiety and aggression.

When interventions are not tailored to the resident’s individual needs and are instead generic or misaligned with his life experiences, the resident may feel misunderstood, frustrated, or anxious. This mismatch can result in increased inappropriate behaviors as a form of expressing discomfort or unmet needs.

This story emphasizes the importance of personalized care and interventions that are meaningful and relevant to the individual to promote better behavior and overall well-being.

Join us for the next session of our 12-Hour Certified Training Program.