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Linda 4th Sep 2012

Posted on the Forum

Hi, what is goal-directed behaviour?
solange 5th Sep 2012
Goal-directed or goal-oriented behaviours in nursing homes refer to behaviours people diagnosed with dementia display any given time. The idea is that the behaviour is not random but in fact indicates the existence of a purpose or goal.

Here are some examples of goal-directed behaviours:
  • Wandering - They may have a destination in mind.
  • Exit-seeking - They feel they 'must' get home or to work.
  • Resisting Care - Often being aggressive or agitated during personal care because, amongst other things they perceive not being in control or their privacy being invaded.
It is thought that this kind of behaviour correlates with advanced stages of dementia and poor interpersonal relationship. Considerable emphasis is now placed on the promotion of person-centred nursing care across the board in the aged care industry. It requires that staff treat residents as individuals with respect and compassion and manage their care according to their needs.

People suffering from dementia have the right to:

  • Feel safe
  • Feel they are in control and perceive his/her life as dignified
  • Feel physically comfortable
  • Feel unstressed and have a sense of belonging
  • Feel pleasure and an awareness that 'they' matter.
In promoting a new approach in caring for residents, the above goal-directed behaviours should call for staff to:

  • Involve people in their care routines
  • Empathize with residents
  • Watch out of triggers to eliminate or modify them
  • Reassure the person you are there to provide comfort and assistance
  • Acknowledge the residents feelings and employ diversionary strategies.
Good assessment to enable staff to identify the resident's individual needs and preferences is important.

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