Clinical risk assessment and management strategies for residents with severe dementia in a residential care setting: a best practice implementation project

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Abstract

Background

Clinical risk assessment and management in an aged care setting is commonly overlooked. This project is focused on clinical risk and relates to residents diagnosed with severe dementia and living in a residential care setting. For this project weight loss, choking and aspiration and unmanaged behaviour were selected as clinical risk as they are related to severe dementia. Assessing clinical risks and developing appropriate strategies to reduce such risks can result in an improvement in the quality of life of dementia residents.

Aims/Objectives

The aim of this project was to ensure the risk assessment component included assessing and using best available evidence for care planning when caring for a resident with severe dementia.

Methods

This project utilised baseline data collection based on JBI-PACES audit criteria, an intervention including education, and modifying resident's assessment tools, and reaudit post-implementation data collection. The data collected identified risks related to severe dementia. A sample was selected from two aged care facilities in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Education on risk management was provided to staff at both facilities and resident assessment forms and care plans were modified to address risk management.

Results

The results showed a significant improvement in compliance in all seven criteria.

Conclusions

This project highlighted the importance of having appropriate assessment forms to identify risks and the importance of staff education on risk management.

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