Average Length of Stay on Behavioural Supports Transition Unit "well below target" prompting reminder that referrals are always welcome
The regional Behavioural Supports Transition Unit (BSTU) housed at QHC Belleville General Hospital has been providing assistance for adults with dementia and responsive behaviours since March 2015. With the average length of stay being well below target, beds on the unit are becoming available more quickly than expected prompting a reminder to health care providers and the public that referrals are always welcome.
The BSTU is a 20-bed inpatient program for adults living with dementia or age-related cognitive impairments who need enhanced resources to manage responsive behaviours such as physical or verbal aggression, exit seeking, rummaging or hoarding. A person is referred to the BSTU when these types of behaviours are a challenge or risk for the individual or others despite accessing resources available in their current setting such as Geriatric Psychiatry, Seniors Mental Health Outreach and/or Mobile Response Teams. During a time-limited stay on this unit, the interprofessional care team works with the patient, family and previous care teams to determine how best to care for that person in a way that reduces the behaviours and/or associated risks. This care plan is then handed over to and carried out by teams outside of the hospital setting when the patient is discharged from the program.
"I just wanted to express my absolute relief that the BSTU unit at Belleville General Hospital exists … In the short time that he has been there, he has drastically changed his behaviour … A relief for him and for me … Simply put, they are exceptional."
~ Family member of a former BSTU patient
Adrienne Bell Smith, Manager of the program said that since the unit opened, they have had 58 admissions and 45 discharges with an average length of stay at 55 days, which is below the target length of stay of 90 days. "When a person comes to the BSTU, the team members work together like detectives figuring out what works and doesn’t work well for our patient, what is the meaning behind the behaviours and how to allow the patient to assume a sense of purpose and control. Another big part of our program is the work the team does with the family. Our Nurse Practitioner and Social Worker work closely with family in understanding the complex disease of dementia, providing both support and education and assisting them to be the best possible advocate for their loved one and effective partner with the care team. We have been privileged to be a part of and witness to incredible transformations of both our patients and their families during the BSTU stay."
If you know someone who meets the criteria, a referral to the BSTU can be made through the Community Care Access Centre either via the person’s CCAC Care Coordinator or by calling 310-2222.