Understand Alzheimer's Educate Australia -

Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service -

The content of this guide draws on currently accepted knowledge of the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), and promotes evidence based practice in dementia care to maximise the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers. This guide aims to enhance communication and interactions between carers, the person with dementia and their family members, and improve the occupational health and safety of people who provide care.

There are a number of terms used to refer to the behavioural symptoms of dementia including: behaviours of concern (BOC); challenging behaviours; and BPSD. Throughout this guide we refer to these as behaviours of concern, but other terms are used interchangeably. We have also used the word people / person to describe those living with dementia with behaviours of concern, and the word carer to describe those who are providing care and support for the person with dementia.

How to use this guide

This guide has been designed to be used in conjunction with your organisational procedures, starting with a risk assessment of the behaviours of concern. After the risk assessment, you sequentially step through the other sections of the guide. If the behaviours of concern are resolved, then you do not need to continue with the steps.

If at any point in time you are unsure of how to complete one of the steps, consult the relevant section of this guide as it will provide you with some useful suggestions to try.

01 Risk Assessment

  • Quickly identify whether the behaviours are creating an emergency situation
  • Make an informed decision about what immediate
  • actions to take

02 Behaviours of Concern

  • Understand the relationship between the brain, cognition and behaviour
  • Identify and objectively describe behaviours of concern
  • Establish a baseline measurement for a behaviour

03 Delirium Screen

  • Identify and address behaviours related to delirium

04 Assessment

  • Undertake a comprehensive review of factors contributing to the behaviours
  • Gain a better understanding of the emotional status of the person with the behaviours

05 Management Strategies

  • Understand the guiding principles for behaviour management
  • Match psychosocial therapy approaches to the emotional needs underpinning the behaviours
  • Understand the guiding principles for the pharmacological management of behaviours of concern


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