Trillium Villa’s BSO cart is providing meaningful interventions for residents

PSW Darlene Abbey is finding that residents are coming to her when she’s doing her rounds
9/9/2019  - Deron Hamel
Trillium Villa PSW Darlene Abbey is pictured here with her BSO cart.  

When personal support worker (PSW) Darlene Abbey walks around Trillium Villa with her special cart, which is filled with a myriad of items that can be used for activation, she is looking to provide interventions for residents who are affected by agitation.

She often doesn’t get far before residents approach her.

Darlene is a member of the Sarnia long-term care community’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team, and her cart is stocked with items that are of interest to residents and can provide comfort measures if they’re feeling agitated or are simply looking for something to do.

But Darlene stresses that her cart, which she has decorated with daisies, is open to any resident.

“When I walk around with my cart, everyone wants to know what’s in my cart, so that’s something that gets them all interested, and then we start doing stuff that’s in my cart,” she tells S&R Today.

“I have games in my cart. I’ve got colouring books and crayons. I’ve got a cribbage board, cards, and all kinds of things that would get them interested in playing something. I’ve got family members that see me walking down the hall and ask me about the cart. I say, ‘this my BSO cart and we’re going to have some fun today.’ ”

BSO is a provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation.

The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

BSO team members are trained to provide meaningful interventions for people affected by cognitive impairment.

Darlene says the BSO cart is an excellent way to engage residents and family members. She even has an iPad in the cart and will play music for residents. Sometimes she will get a “dance party” happening, she says.

“I get a lot of interaction from a lot of people when I am walking around with my cart, and it makes people want to get involved, so we have a lot of fun with everything in the cart,” Darlene says.

- More to come

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