We recently carried out a series of 1.5-day safe holding training sessions for a team of staff who are transitioning from mainstream elderly care into more specialist dementia-care in a dedicated unit. The care service provider planned a programme of dementia-related upskilling and training for the staff which was mainly provided in-house by their own qualified trainers. That training, designed to raise awareness of the challenges of living with dementia and the different perspectives which are needed by staff to work more successfully with the residents, was then supplemented by specialist safe holding training input from Dynamis trainers who had a specific remit to work with the teams on potential and frequently-occurring conflict flashpoints.
The safe holding training covers many topics which are designed to make physical interventions less likely, with a focus on calm, professional engagement with the resident and only ever a last-resort application of any physical solution to an emerging safety problem.
The training covered:
- Flashpoints for stress and conflict for people living with dementia
- Specific scenario replications for common conflict flashpoints
- Input on verbal communications and behaviours which do not escalate those situations
- Input on Verbal communications and behaviour which the staff could practice using to de-escalate those situations
- Exploration of proximity, body language, barrier signals, anger cues and precautions against being easily grabbed or struck
- Tactics for releasing holds, shielding against blows and dealing with specific common actions from distressed residents
- An overview of Law and Guidance for managing challenging behaviour with older people
- Video clips to prompt discussion about freedom of movement, restraint and respecting rights.
- Last-resort physical strategies for managing worst-case distress or violence from residents
- Risk Management principles for dealing with frequently occurring incidents of distress
Dynamis has been providing advice and training on safe caring in dementia care and with older people since 2007. We welcome enquiries from all parts of the sector, and opportunities to enhance the safety and comfort of staff and residents in the most challenging environments where dementia and life in care causes distress. Please follow the links below to learn more about our training.