RESIDENT BITES, GRABS, OR SHOWS AGGRESSION:
Patients in nursing homes have a tendency to resist dental care by biting dental equipment inserted into the mouth and exerting physical and verbal aggression. Causes can be from medical conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s which can enhance distrust, anxiety, and anger. This could also be caused by irritation or pain. It is important to know how to deescalate in this scenario.
WAYS TO REDIRECT OR DEESCALATE:
- Keep it calm and take a breather. You cannot fight anger with anger or frustration.
- Maintain your composure such as emotion, tone of your voice, and body language.
- Actively listen and acknowledge the patient’s concerns, clarify your understanding.
- Ask for assistance from a caregiver the patient is comfortable with.
- You may have to ask for assistance from the social worker or a secondary nurse whomcan talk, hold hands or reassure the patient.
- Provide an object that the patient can hold or keep their hands busy if they push or grab.
- Use distractions such as asking questions about their day, family, commenting on the TVshow playing in their room, etc.
- Come back at a later time and begin a routine. Determine the best time during the day toapproach the patient and work around that schedule if possible.
- Most importantly, take your time!