Complex behaviours

Residential and nursing placements for working age and older adults

Complex behaviour may be triggered by stress or distress and are a widespread issue for people with dementia. It can reduce quality of life, increase caregiver stress, and increase the risk of institutionalisation and admission to hospital.

At Bridge, Burton and Trent Court, our multidisciplinary team includes a Psychology department who are highly experienced at observing and assessing complex behaviours and seek to establish the causes and triggers of the behaviour.

Our knowledgeable care team favours using non-pharmacological and non-physical methods to de-escalate situations. Our practices lead to a reduction in complex behaviour and help to improve quality of life.

Complex Behaviour

In the context of the people we support, complex behaviour usually includes one or a combination of:

  • Repetitive talking or shouting
  • Throwing things
  • Walking with purpose
  • Biting
  • Trying to destroy objects
  • Agitation and general anger

The term ‘complex’ behaviour describe any actions by the person that are deemed to be distressing or disruptive to themselves or others.

Anger and Upsetting Behaviours

Anger can be prevalent in a person living with mental health, complex behaviours and dementia. It may be one of the behaviours that you or your loved one is struggling with or most affected by. It can be challenging for all involved and lead to feelings of guilt, isolation and emotional distress.

Why is the person angry and/or upset?

Anger may be a direct result of changes to the brain, or be caused by a general health problem such as physical pain. The behaviour can also stem from problems related to frustration, environmental factors or social interactions. In some cases, it can be about communication issues. Anger can be shown physically or by verbal abuse.

The people we support have needs that may stem from several conditions, including:

  • Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, confusion and memory loss
  • Dementia
  • Mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which may have stabilised due to treatment and ageing
  • Neurodegenerative conditions including Lewy-body, Korsakoff syndrome and acquired brain injury.