Informal caregivers' knowledge and perception of vocally disruptive behaviour in the older adult with dementia living in a long term care setting

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Todoruk, Michelle
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It has been established that institutionalized older adults with dementia frequently exhibit a variety of disruptive behaviours that present a challenge to health care professionals to manage and can be stressful to other residents and family members. The most disturbing and challenging of these behaviours that have been identified are those described as vocally disruptive behaviour (VDB), often referred to as calling out or screaming. Over the last 10 to 12 years, researchers have begun to focus on vocally disruptive behaviour in the older adult with dementia with the goal of defining and describing the behaviour as well as examining management interventions. To date, however, little is known about the knowledge, perceptions and available interventions for informal caregivers of vocally disruptive older adults with dementia living in long term care (LTC). This practicum examined informal caregivers knowledge and perception in relation to an institutionalized, older adult family member with dementia who hasbeen exhibiting vocally disruptive behaviour. A teaching and support program was developed and delivered to the informal caregivers based on an assessment of their knowledge and perception. A focus group was then held with the participants to evaluate the teaching and support package and provide suggestions regarding the format and the content. These suggestions were then included in the teaching and support package. The teaching/support package as well as a staff educational session was made available to the two LTC settings in which the practicum was conducted.