By: Ebony Vardy-Jones
As part of my degree, I started to collect my supervision hours needed to work towards my Behavior Analyst Certification Board accreditation. I collected my hours in a residential home for older adults, some of whom had a diagnosis of dementia. I began to apply the knowledge I had gained throughout my degree by completing a number of assessments and observations, using appropriate research methods and measurements. I applied the theory of behaviour analysis to assess the functions of challenging behaviour, and uncover simple changes within the home that would increase the quality of life of the residents, and ease the workload of the care staff. I then went on to design behavioural interventions based on the data that had been collected, ensuring the wellbeing of the residents was at the forefront of any decisions. I started to deliver the interventions, whilst continuing to collect data to observe any changes in behaviour and analyse the effects of the interventions.
As well as gaining valuable experience of applying the theory of behaviour analysis, I also developed the skills needed to interact with the residents and the staff of the care home without belittling or undermining them. Older people are often approached in a manner that is similar to the approach used when speaking to young children, which I believe is inappropriate. I used a friendly and talkative manner when approaching the residents, ensuring they feel valued.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time within the care home. I enjoyed the company of the care staff and the residents, and felt I had learnt a lot.