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Long-Term Accommodation and Support for People With Higher Levels of Challenging Behaviour

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Glenn Kelly*
ABI Behaviour Consultancy, Epworth Healthcare, Victoria, Australia.
Dianne Winkler
Monash University and the Summer Foundation, Victoria, Australia.
*Address for correspondence: Dr Glenn Kelly, ABI Behaviour Consultancy, PO Box 1228, North Fitzroy VIC 3068, Australia.


The purpose of the present article is to describe the issues associated with providing lifelong accommodation and support to people with severe brain injury, neurobehavioural disability, and overt challenging behaviours. In particular, the article focuses on two groups of people within an Australian context: (a) those who live in community settings but whose behaviour is not adequately managed even by specialist outreach behaviour management services, and (b) those who are confined to aged care residential facilities and who show challenging behaviour. These groups bring to the fore different lifelong behaviour management issues. At present, if community-based clients seriously offend or have an adequate psychiatric diagnosis, they may be placed in heavily secured psychiatric units or prison. Otherwise, by default, they will reside in less restrictive options such as family homes and shared supported accommodation. We will argue that the current service system lacks the ability to apply appropriate structure and control to many clients with serious challenging behaviours, and propose that specialised facilities would make an important addition to the service system. Conversely, young clients confined to residential aged care facilities live in impoverished environments that often contribute to challenging behaviour that can be enormously disruptive, distressing, and unsafe. We will review the recent Australian State and Federal Government initiative aimed at transitioning some young people out of nursing homes, and we raise considerations for future service development. There are many individuals with the potential to make significant gains in a tightly structured setting before returning to the community, while others will manage well with long-term placement in a setting designed for residents with neurobehavioural disability. Case studies and service data are used to support these arguments, and key elements of accommodation and rehabilitation models for those in need of long-term neurobehavioural support are described.

Brain Impairment , Volume 8 , Issue 3 , 01 December 2007 , pp. 262 - 275
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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