Improving residents’ behaviour

Improving residents’ behaviour.

Photo: Improving residents’ behaviour.

Western Australia’s Hall & Prior’s Kensington Park Aged Care Home has won national recognition with a Better Practice Award for its behaviour management project.

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency’s annual Better Practice Awards recognise innovation, quality improvement and better practice in aged care across five award categories: health and personal care, resident lifestyle, staff development and retention, environmental management/living environment and innovation.

Kensington Park’s project ‘innovative approaches to improve behaviour management of residents with dementia’ won in the health and personal care category. This is the second Better Practice Award Hall & Prior has won in this category in two years.

The staff at Kensington Park wanted to explore the underlying causes of aggressive behaviour and not just dismiss it as a result of their diagnosis of dementia.

The aim of the project was to identify the relationship between pain and sleep that occurs with behavioural changes and aggressive episodes.

Pictured is the project team together with Dr Refshauge at the Better Practice Conference in Sydney.

The project planned to assist Kensington Park staff to understand the cause of the episodes and manage the underlying symptoms before they resulted in behavioural incidents. From this investigation, appropriate holistic strategies were developed and implemented to address the underlying cause of the aggressive episodes.

The project included developing a pain audit tool and a sleep assessment tool. These were applied to all residents together with other strategies that addressed behaviours, including the introduction of music and exercise therapy.

Education was developed and implemented to ensure all staff were aware of how to observe a resident from a holistic perspective. The involvement of a multidisciplinary team with this project assisted in including all specialties throughout the care cycle.

The project discovered that when the resident's pain was addressed and good sleep patterns were established, the resident was more peaceful and relaxed. This resulted in fewer incidents of resident aggression and also a reduction in anti-psychotic medication use.

Hall & Prior’s chief executive, Graeme Prior, said it was a “great honour to receive a Better Practice Award for recognition of a project that has been of benefit to so many residents at Kensington Park”.

“Through implementing projects such as these, it allows Hall & Prior to fulfil its mission of ‘being committed to the pursuit of excellence in the provision of care and accommodation to the aged in our community’.”

A distinguished panel of aged care experts reviewed nearly 200 nominations. Kensington Park Aged Care Home was one of five award recipients in Western Australia.

More information on the award winning project can be found on the Hall & Prior website For more information on the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency or to view all the Better Practice Award winners for 2012, visit