9 Ways to Help People with Complex Behaviours

Complex behaviour isn’t just challenging to deal with; it also puts you and your loved one at risk, not to mention the other members of your family too. It may take the form of self-harm, aggression and even disruptive or destructive behaviour, so you need to know how best to cope with any such occurrences. Here we’ve detailed 9 different ways in which you can help to defuse the situation.

  • Identify the trigger

Is your loved one bored, tired, in pain or finding communicating their needs a problem? Dealing with the cause of discomfort can rapidly defuse an escalating situation.

  • Remove sources of anxiety

Escalating anxiety levels quickly lead to challenging behaviour, so as soon as you identify the trigger, try to eliminate the source of the worry. Perhaps your loved one dislikes crowds, for example, in which case moving to somewhere quieter may settle them very quickly.

  • Distract attention

If you sense an impending problem, work quickly to provide a distraction. Keeping a favourite possession or activity close to hand could be all that’s needed to restore order as you divert your loved one’s attention elsewhere.

  • Seek professional help

Your GP should be able to refer you and your loved one to specialist support services. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – coping with complex behaviours can be stressful,exhausting, upsetting, and impacts the lives of the whole family. Help is available for those who request it.

  • Take advantage of respite services

Sometimes you just need time for yourself to relax and recharge your batteries, which is where respite care services really come into their own. We offer a range of residential services aimed at people with complex care needs, including residential homes in Kent.

  • Keep a diary

Keeping detailed notes about mood swings and changes in behaviour can help you to identify circumstances that lead to episodes of challenging behaviour. Over time you may see a pattern in behaviours emerging which allows you to plan in advance for activities and events that may lead to a deterioration in the displayed behaviour.

  • Join a support group

Socialising with other people in a similar situation can be extremely helpful in allowing you to come to terms with your loved one’s complex behaviours. Support groups and parent forums allow people to share experiences and trade useful techniques and ideas, as well as offer the opportunity to socialise.

  • Create clear routines

Keeping to a structured and meaningful daily routine allows your loved one to cope with day-to-day events more easily.  Providing picture /symbol cards or simply reminding them verbally throughout the day can also comfort them. Surprises should be kept to a minimum to maintain a calm atmosphere.

  • Consider residential care

Your loved one may hanker for more independence over their life, in which case specialist residential services present a great opportunity for personal growth and development. Some establishments, such as our residential homes in Kent, offer specialist support teams, and segregated living for those not comfortable in mixed groups.

The key fact to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with complex behaviours, so a simple system of trial and error, combined with professional support, is the best way forward.